A Chinese cyber diaspora: Contact and identity negotiation on Taiwanese WoW servers

Holin Lin*, Chuen-Tsai Sun

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

Abstract

Due to the long-delayed release of World ofWarcraft's (WoW's) second expansion in China, many Chinese players moved their accounts to Taiwanese servers in 2008. This "WoW rush" resulted in daily contact between tens of thousands of residents of Taiwan and China, two countries whose official relationship is marked by limited contact and political tension. Instead of having short-term political discussions on online forums, Chinese and Taiwanese players are now establishing long-term relationships in ongoing game worlds. This represents a new form of virtual migration, consisting of individuals who physically exist in their home countries, but spend large amounts of time engaged in cross-border interactions in cyberspace. We call this new practice "migration without physical presence." In this paper we analyze this phenomenon and its implications, and review the characteristics of cross-Taiwan Strait interactions at various stages of this cyber-diaspora.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2011
Event5th International Conference on Digital Research Association: Think Design Play, DiGRA 2011 - Utrecht, Netherlands
Duration: 14 Sep 201117 Sep 2011

Conference

Conference5th International Conference on Digital Research Association: Think Design Play, DiGRA 2011
CountryNetherlands
CityUtrecht
Period14/09/1117/09/11

Keywords

  • Cyberdiaspora
  • MMOG operation
  • Online gamer migration
  • Persistent worlds
  • Telepresence
  • World of Warcraft

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