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Digital Ruins

Miller, Vincent, Garcia, Gonzalo (2019) Digital Ruins. Cultural Geographies, 26 (4). pp. 435-454. ISSN 1474-4740. E-ISSN 1477-0881. (doi:10.1177/1474474019858705) (KAR id:73428)

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In recent years, Geography has seen a rebirth of interest and appreciation of ruins, abandoned and neglected spaces of industrial modernity. This work has often emphasised the sensuousness of the material contextualisation of industrial ruins largely in terms of the phenomenological experience of decay, disorder and blight, or the affective elements of these spaces through concepts such as ‘ghostliness’ and ‘haunting’. This paper is an investigation into ruins or abandoned spaces which do not have materiality or temporality: digital ruins. Existing in a kind of eternal present, such spaces do not decay, yet still demonstrate many of the affective, phenomenological, and existential experiences of what we understand to be ruin, abandonment or blight. Using autoethnographic research of a variety of abandoned and nearly-abandoned virtual worlds, this paper will reconsider the notions of ‘ruin’ within the increasingly important context of digital spaces, the utopian rhetoric which framed the development of these worlds, and situate the digital ruin within a wider critique of digital prosumerism.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/1474474019858705
Uncontrolled keywords: Virtual worlds, creative destruction, abandonment, ruin, prosumer, creative abandonment, existentialism
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
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: 09 Apr 2019 14:34 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2023 12:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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