Digital play and the actualization of the consumer imagination

  • Molesworth M
  • Denegri-Knott J
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In this article, the authors consider emerging consumer practices in digital virtual spaces. Building on constructions of consumer behavior as both a sense-making activity and a resource for the construction of daydreams, as well as anthropological readings of performance, the authors speculate that many performances during digital play are products of consumer fantasy. The authors develop an interpretation of the relationship between the real and the virtual that is better equipped to understand the movement between consumer daydreams and those practices actualized in the material and now also in digital virtual reality. The authors argue that digital virtual performances present opportunities for liminoid transformations through inversions, speculations, and playfulness acted out in aesthetic dramas. To illustrate, the authors consider specific examples of the theatrical productions available to consumers in digital spaces, highlighting the consumer imagination that feeds them, the performances they produce, and the potential for transformation in consumer-players.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aesthetic drama
  • Fantasy
  • Liminoid
  • Virtual consumption

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  • Mike Molesworth

  • Janice Denegri-Knott

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