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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II

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at that point at which we go over to the computer from the more or less linear narrations in the print media and the (feature) film on the screen or on television. The ‹media jump› alone, however, is not the crucial point, because the same still or moving images that transport traditional notions of gender in the ‹old› media can just as well appear on the monitor of one's personal computer at home.

‹Playing and learning›

Traditionally, in the field of computer technology terms such as (gender) ‹role play› and (gender) ‹masquerade› are associated with a completely different area, namely the classic Net-based communication environments of chat rooms, MUDs and MOOs. [39] Because when constructing an ‹avatar›—an ‹alter ego,› in whose ‹identity› one communicates and interacts with others—one has the option of choosing more than just one of the two gender identities, the latter can in fact be described as «gender identity workshops»: [40] As spaces of experience in which under the premises of role play and masquerade, dealing with gender roles and gender identities can be explored in


a performative way. Scientific investigations have shown, however, that in itself this is no reason to imply that cyberspace has a subversive potential. Not only are the limitations of stereotypical gender categories experienced in this way, but also the boundaries of the game with gender roles and identities. And if this on the one hand intensifies perception of these boundaries and can support their critical reflection, it also shows that the usual gender-specific attributes are reproduced and in part even reinforced through ‹doing gender.› The latter can be established all the more for those areas of the Net that, unlike text-based communication environments, offer visual representations of gender. As an «arena of representation,» [41] in the World Wide Web in particular, stereotypical representations of femaleness and maleness, as they also circulate in other «mass media,» seem to dominate. [42] In view of the fact that in recent years, the WWW has increasingly developed into a «world wide industrial park,» it is also no surprise that alternative representations of gender or representations of alternative views of gender roles and gender identities—as far as these are not already

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