What is it about?

Virtual worlds are conventionally understood as imagined places and alternate realities. With new hyperlinked technologies such as social media sites and augmented reality devices virtuality should also be understood as a process, or the means by which virtualization is realized. Employing theorizations of Baudrillard and Virilio, this paper sheds light on practices such as transmediation and information management at the dawning of the age of Big Data.

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Why is it important?

This article owes a lot to the four special issues editors, but especially to Professor Mike Saren of Leicester University, who kept urging the authors to develop a clear and insightful generic view of virtual reality and indeed of "virtuality" in the contemporary era. Also important is the influence of special issue editors Janet Ward and Alladi Venkatesh, who provided continued inspiration.

Perspectives

Ian Reyes and I are coming around to the view that the new trends in communication technologies -- virtuality, sociality, mobility, and more -- are parts of the larger evolving canvas of melding and interfusing "transmedia". Although media theorists have talked about these issues, the impacts on marketscapes, consumptionscapes, and indeed lifescapes are barely understood. We hope to continue to explore these emerging edges.

Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia
University of Rhode Island

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This page is a summary of: Virtuality as place and process, Journal of Marketing Management, October 2013, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/0267257x.2013.834714.
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