Stephen A. Schrum
ATHEMOO and NetSeduction: Censorship and The Art of Sexting Before Cell Phones
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Abstract: This session will recall the production of NetSeduction staged in ATHEMOO in 1996. Though only a text-based virtual reality, it caused consternation and efforts of censorship by the moderator of ATHEMOO, who was worried that the frank sexual dialogue would cause offense. (This, of course, assumed that anyone would actually log in and show up for the performance.) Flash-forward to 2012, with cell phone users “sexting” and Second Life avatars participating in consensual “pixel sex.” Was text-only more dangerous than full-frontal cartoonage? Or has culture change that makes text-only less powerful, by virtue of their ubiquity in a constantly-texting society?
Bio: Stephen A. Schrum, PhD is Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at Pitt-Greensburg. His research area is currently “The Perception of Presence in Virtual Performance,” and he has directed virtual productions of The Bacchae and Prometheus Bound in Second Life (SL). He began teaching with technology in 1993, and his publications include the book, Theatre in Cyberspace: Issues of Teaching, Acting and Directing (as editor, 2000); “Theatre in Second Life® Holds the VR Mirror Up To Nature,” in Handbook of Research on Computational Arts and Creative Informatics (2009), and “Teaching in the Virtual Theatre Classroom,” in Teaching Through Multi-User Environments (2010).