Playful identities. From narrative to ludic self-construction
04 / 2005 - 03 / 2009
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
The aim of this interdisciplinary (conceptual-philosophical,media-theoretical, and qualitative-empirical) program is toinvestigate if, and if so, to what extent and in what way, digitalinformation and communication technologies are transforming the(construction of) personal and cultural identity. To that end we willdevelop a theory of ludic identity that critically elaborates onRicoeur's theory of narrative identity. In this theory play and gamesare not only appropriate metaphors for human identity, but they arealso conceived of as means by which people reflexively constructtheir identity. The theory of ludic identity, the outlines of whichhave been sketched in some of the principal applicant?s previouspublications, will be further developed and critically evaluated inthree case studies (three PhD projects) focusing on (thedomestication of) three different media, respectively: 1. mobilephones, 2. websites, and 3. computer games. Each case study willexamine the way the medium-specific characteristics shape and arebeing shaped by the participation of the user, and on theimplications of this for the reflexive construction of personal andcultural identities. By way of dialectical counterpoint, in each ofthe case studies the practice of reflexive identity construction willbe confronted with a specific development that threatens to subjectthis reflexive self-construction to the logic of an external system(respectively processes of commercialization, globalization andhomogenization).