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Identity through Fashion in Virtual Environments

Makryniotis, Thomas (2012) Identity through Fashion in Virtual Environments. PhD thesis, University for the Creative Arts.

Type of Research: Thesis
Creators: Makryniotis, Thomas

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the formation of identity through dress in virtual environments, and to establish connections between identity, fashion, and virtual reality by means of language and semiology. The notion of identity through fashion in virtual environments is examined, with fashion as a factor in identity formation through dress as analysed in structuralist terms. The virtual aspect is used both as a literal field, i.e. the medium of video games and social networks that involve virtual avatars, and as theoretical testing ground from which to derive new results on the nature of dress and many of the aspects of clothing and fashion.

The practical outcome of this research, a video game based on dress and narrative, serves as an applied experiment of the three main themes in this thesis and the relations and interactions between them, as well as a testing tool with which to challenge in a practical way the theories and speculations formed in the thesis.

My methodology is based on structuralism and post-structuralism in the fields of linguistics, psychology and anthropology, with particular application to the visual media and virtual reality. I am using a post-structuralist approach as it has been the most dominant discourse of replacing economic and social (power) relations with codes and the interplay between signifiers and signifieds. This, I find, is the most appropriate method for analysing both virtual systems and fashion, because, on an atomic level, they both depend on variables such as words and numbers. The code is therefore the common denominator of both disciplines. Furthermore, both disciplines use narrative for their proper function, video games for their back story and motivation of the player, and fashion for its advertising and promotion, as well as through archetypes and symbols. Fashion in this context works as a catalytic agent between post-structuralist codes in modern media as texts, and video games.

Official Website: http://www.ucreative.ac.uk/tmakryniotis
Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Fashion Digital Media
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 2012
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2014 15:47
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2014 15:47
Item ID: 7086
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/7086

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