Tag Archives: identity tourism
My Tiny Life is mostly about sexual temptation. Early in the book Dibbell announces that his problem with his current real life relationship is that he can’t seem to make a commitment to his lover. His MOO adventures take place in a sort of liminal state — the space between boyhood and manhood, irresponsibility and assumption of duty. His progress (like any pilgrim’s) is interrupted by a series of temptations including the thrill of gender-swapping and netsex.
The tourist is a spectator who observes and consumes the culture of the Other without belonging to it: “just passing through.” Tourist economies rise and fall based on how well they can deliver “the goods”–the “experience” which, though totally constructed, does not seem vicarious to person who has paid for the tour….
The best postmodern explorations are well grounded in theory and in history, even as they attempt to demonstrate the inevitable failure of the metanarrative and to replace it with a succession of reflective surfaces and simulacrae. But Nakamura’s Cybertypes regards theory and method as a set of interchangeable parts that can be put to her purpose without regard to the original context in which they evolved—a strategy that can fairly be regarded as the theoretical equivalent to the “identity tourism” that Nakamura critiques.