Agency, as both action and the personification of action, can be creatively reconceptualized in a text-based virtual reality system. When students are asked to _act_ in the MOO, whether by engaging a set of problems designed for them by the instructor, or by constructing actively representational/symbolic/iconic agents, the limits of traditional notions of agency become clear.The "one who does the actual work" becomes both the creator and the created. In combination with the grammatical/rhetorical programming of verb-strings, slide projectors, and various other "active" objects, students engage each other, the instructor, and other programmed agents in the MOO to develop and extend a written logos that challenges existing structures of agency. The logics and poetics enabled by such a classroom allow students to make merry with cherished notions of the role of assigned agency, gathering and deploying rhetorical power through objects coded to their own argumentative needs.
Presenter: John F Ronan
Target Audience: Intermediate