Intentional Bodies: Virtual Environments and the Designers Who Shape Them

“Intentional Bodies: Virtual Environments and the Designers Who Shape Them,” International Journal of Engineering Education, Vol.19, No.1, 25-34, 2003.

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Abstract

This article examines the ways virtual environment software is explicitly designed with particular visions of identity, communication, and community in mind. This social context of software is considered with a particular focus on the ways various forms of embodiment are encoded in systems. Rather than simply framing software as a primarily technical product, this article analyzes the way software engineers and designers shape architectures and systems as conduits for social values and norms. Considerations of responsibility, identity, legitimacy, and sociability emerge as central factors in design practice.