# Blog 3: Virtual Networks and their Story and Place.
Habbo hotel is a social networking site that is similar to “Sims”. It is a game that can be played online, considered as a virtually reality. The sole purpose of this site is to create a virtual, digital, character that is like an avatar; which has the ability to form cybernetic interactions with anybody in the world. This network gives the user’s the ability to be a part of online chat rooms, regular day-to-day post boards, and allow the user to make various changes on your digital character’s appearance and the room which Habbo Hotel has allocated the user. Like majority of virtual networks they all have a sole purpose, to create online interaction devices that allow the user to find friends instantly. Often these friends can be regular users from the age of 13 and up, come from all over the world, speak different language and can from various cultural backgrounds. To evoke a sense of space and place within Habbo Hotel virtual like avatar images are used to display each character and the communication to each other is at simple and similar to the typical online chat messaging.
For online communication to occur some form of language needs to be spoken. Language is the simple forms of any “text” that can be seen virtually or privately. However, language is advancing and creates place which can be described through personal thoughts, feelings, and people’s perceptions. In virtual networks, the narratives and the making of place can also include various stories and places. As Petray (2013) explained in week 2 lecture, power can be seen as a relationship that shows three core elements; domination, competition and cooperation. These can be interpreted as such things that are different to its actual meaning, which may affect the reader’s response from what was actually being stated. Thus giving the reader, alternative power to choose how they would represent them and respond to these actions.
Although all social networks aren’t fundamentally made for each user’s requirements and needs, it ideally creates a sense of meaning and belonging. Van Luyn (2013) discussed in week 5 lecture, “space becomes place through humans imposing meaning on it and a sense of place is created through humans perceiving, as well as contrasting that location”. When online the virtual space users interact in is known to be of non-reality and as Tuan, (1991) mentions “… the right to speak and be heard, the right to name and have the name “stick”- is empowerment,” “ …..Much the same is true of places created by language, oral and written”. On http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/the-language-of-social-media-unlike-any-other/, Ben Zimmer discusses more on social networking and its language.
Petray, T. (2013). BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narratives and the Making Of Place, Lecture 2: Power: Big Brother and Self-Surveillance [PowerPoint Slide Notes]. Retrieved From: http://learnjcu.edu.au
Tuan, Y. (1991). Language and the Making of Place: A Narrative-Descriptive Approach. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 81 (4), 684-696 Taylor and Francis, LTD
Van Luyn, A (2013) BA1002: Our Space: Networks, Narratives and the Making Of Place, Lecture 5: Stories and Places [PowerPoint Slide Notes]. Retrieved From: http://learnjcu.edu.au
Giannicatalfamo. (21.05.2012) Son of Geek Talk DA Blog, So Me and Donuts (Rel 4). Retrieved From: http://sonofgeektalk.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/some-and-donuts-rel-2/