From 2004 to 2007, Tom Boellstorff, [professor of anthropology from UC Irvine], inhabited Second Life as an embedded ethnographer, naming his avatar Tom Bukowski and building himself a home and office called Ethnographia. His immersive approach was anchored by the premise that the world of Second Life is just as “real” as any other, and that he was justified in studying Second Life on “its own terms” rather than feeling obligated to understand people’s virtual identities primarily in terms of their offline lives.

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