90 min.
Panelgesprek (90 min.)

There are countless virtual worlds that are being inhabited as we speak. Some explorers thread unbeaten paths, others look for enclaves and communities, or follow the new NFT gold rush, while the big corporate players try to pin their flags on all those activities. It’s a Wild West, Americas, and Africa all over again and none of the above at the same time. The virtual is potentially endless and can be copied endlessly. We have an opportunity to give everyone land and create lifestyles that will let everyone emancipate themselves, but will we? On one hand, the current practices of VR exploration are all about excitement, bravery, adventure and exploration, on the other there is geopolitics, interests and conflicting angles. Who are the colonizers and who is being colonized in the Virtual Worlds hosted on the servers of the Big Tech companies? Can VR technology become not only a facilitator of the journey but also a tool for (auto)ethnography? We invite practicioners and scholars including Lisa Messeri, and Payal Arora to think about the socio-political ramifications of the current VR developments.