T. L. Taylor
North Carolina State University, Dept. of Communication
Winston 201, Box 8104, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
This article examines the ways virtual environment software is explicitly designed with particular visions of identity, communication, and community in mind. This social context of software is considered with a particular focus on the ways various forms of embodiment are encoded in systems. Rather than simply framing software as a primarily technical product, this article analyzes the way software engineers and designers shape architectures and systems as conduits for social values and norms. Considerations of responsibility, identity, legitimacy, and sociability emerge as central factors in design practice.