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Title: Spatial conceptualisation as a foundation for social interactionism in virtual worlds
Authors: Formosa, Saviour
Keywords: Technological innovations -- Malta
Information technology -- Social aspects -- Malta
Digital divide -- Malta
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: University of Malta. Faculty of Social Wellbeing
Citation: Future preparedness : thematic and spatial issues for the environment and sustainability. Msida: Department of Criminology, University of Malta, 2014. p. 237-248. 9789995783464
Abstract: In a world relatively recently immersed in the virtual domain, sprung upon unsuspecting newbies still struggling to understand what a 20k computer could deliver, few anticipated the massive change that was about to be wrought by technology. One generation later and new opposing dichotomies still exist: the techno-centric world and those techno-phobic or the still skeptic. Th ose lucky enough to be caught in the revolution understand the realities impinging on both worlds, but those lost in the analogue reality and the new generation that grew up with virtual access seem to be lost in their own concept of space. It is difficult to conceptualise living without the digital version, but such is still a reality for some who still cling to hardcopies, atlases and paper, whilst equally perplexing that the new generations do not access such but immerse themselves in virtual worlds that may yet represent real space, which in turn has resulted in the loss of linkages to the real world. Case in point is the need to establish mental connections of place between the two worlds: the availability of online map services, but few really understand their physical space and the inherent relationships between the players in their routine activity. Th e scope of this paper is to visualise a socio-technic approach that creates virtual worlds that are understandable to new users, those who have yet to venture in the virtual immersive domain and build their worlds for eventual interactivity. It is futile for the social sciences to continue their century-old practices when dealing with the realities of the new society; counseling, sociology, social psychology, criminology as well as other natural sciences inclusive of medicine cannot abide by. Th eir need is imperative to understand the new domains in order to come up with new actions to understand the interactionism pertaining to the new societies that inhabit apparent alien domains. What Tim Berners- Lee unleashed in 1989 (1) through his world wide web (WWW) proposal (Berners-Lee, 1989) is still under study, even though it has taken over social change. This paper posits a process employed in Malta to bridge the gap, by creating a seed that transposes the real and understandable world to the uninitiated through the creation of a place they understand: a map of the islands.
Description: Chapter 13
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWCri

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