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Digital Ruins

Miller, Vincent, Garcia, Gonzalo (2017) Digital Ruins. In: Association of American Geographers Annual Conference April 5-9, 2017, April 5-9, 2017, Boston, USA. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:66020)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)


In recent years, Geography has seen a rebirth of interest and appreciation of the ruins, abandoned and neglected spaces of modernity (for examples, Edensor 2005 on industrial ruins and Pinder 2005 on urban exploration). This work has emphasised the sensuousness of the material contextualisation of space largely in terms of the phenomenological experience of decay, disorder and blight. In addition, such work has also attempted to capture the affective elements of these spaces through concepts such as ‘ghostliness’, ‘haunting’ as well as drawing on elements of romanticism and nostalgia, and, in general, the experience or memory of a past recent enough to still have a presence.

This paper is an investigation into ruins or abandoned spaces which do not have materiality or temporality: digital ruins. Existing without age in a kind of eternal present, such spaces do not decay, yet still demonstrate many of the affective and phenomenological experiences of what we understand to be ruin, abandonment or blight. Using ethnographic research of a variety of abandoned or nearly-abandoned virtual worlds, this paper will reconsider the notions of ‘ruin’ and ‘blight’ within the increasingly important context of digital spaces. At the same time, it will also situate the digital ruin within the wider critique of the relationship between capitalism and space.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Uncontrolled keywords: Virtual worlds, Ruins, Digital capitalism, Prosumership
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Vince Miller
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 17:11 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 13:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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