I’ve been tossing around this concept of the memetic inkblot, which refers to units of cultural information (memes) that have effectively no singular semiotic value and therefore serve as a psychosocial indicator. In other words, they are so vague and open to interpretation that you can learn a lot about someone by asking someone to give a simple definition of them. Now, if semiotics has taught me anything, it is that the sign is nothing but a social construction, and I do not intend to make the mistake of attributing intrinsic value to any meme. Obviously, how someone feels about anything is a way you can learn about them, but these concepts are so vague that they rarely have a stable, concise definition.
The vast worlds of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) seem to be the closest implementation of postmodern theories of identity. In these games, a player is able (forced, even) to radically constitute their on-line self at will. Despite this, these virtual gaming communities should not be seen as safe spaces in which a subject can realize their true (or ideal) self. In these games, a globalized capitalist hegemony is furthered both inside and out of the virtual world, violent normalization based on hierarchy and militarism is commonplace in all but the tamest on-line realms, and seemingly free-form gender play becomes appropriated, paradoxically entrenching a stable gender order.
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