One of the things I’m trying to learn more about is what cyberspace means in different countries– or more broadly, the ways people in different countries conceptualize the Internet as destination or medium. This is what inspired my collection of terms of cyberspace in Chinese, Danish, German, Japanese and Korean (and the hunt goes on– if you’re familiar with other languages, I’m happy to hear from you!), and more generally my attention to issues of language.
But of course, while language serves to help define the way people think about something as simultaneous compelling and abstract as the Internet, you also want to pay attention to what people, companies, and states are doing elsewhere. Fortunately, my colleague Lyn Jeffery, and former Institute intern Jason Li have started a new blog, “Virtual China,” which will make this easier for at least one important part of the world.
Lyn has lived in China much of her life, and Jason is from Hong Kong, so they have mad language skills, a lot of knowledge about culture and business on the mainland, and just good eyes.
Officially, the blog is “an exploration of virtual experiences and environments in and about China,” and is part of a larger research project we’re doing (and Lyn is leading) on the future of China. The URL is http://www.virtual-china.org/.
The blog is still young, but it’s got posts on Chinese plans for new top-level domains, massive multiplayer gaming, socialist realist Gucci advertising, and Web 2.0 in China.