Cultural Theory

Przhilenskaya I.

Shapinskaya E.

Bizyukova M.

Cultural History

Selezneva E.

Applied Cultural Research

Vasilieva Zh.

Stepanova O.


Kornienko N.


Gorodilina T.

UDC 140.8+316.77
Shapinskaya E.
Escapism in cyberspace: limitless possibilities and new dangers
Abstract. The article deals with specific features of escapism in the space of Internet. Three main problems are put forward: what are the features of cyberspace, what are its attractions for human being and what dangers does it contain. Special attention is given to the contradictory nature of technologies playing the key role in contemporary culture. On the one hand, they are the embodiment of the triumph of rational science, on the other hand they are becoming the medium for transmitting fantastic ideas and images, acquiring thus magic qualities. Virtual worlds of Internet are regarded as a part of postmodern culture with its accent on endless fragmentation and rhizoma-like construction. Escapist has endless possibilities in this space. Such domains of human life as religion, love and art, especially attractive for an escapist, have been examined in the article. Different religious cults and magic practices are flourishing in the Net creating an eclectic picture of spiritual life allowing people to realize most contradictory and irrational drives. Love in the Net is also a possibility to realize in virtual life the hopes that did not come true in reality. Art in its digital form presents unlimited opportunities both from the point of view of perception and self-realization. The article also deals with dangers of computer escapism connected with the possibility of total immersion in virtual worlds and the difficulty of returning to “primary” reality and also with the problem of human subject who has lost orientation in real/virtual world and is facing grave problems in real life.
Key words: escapism, culture, cyberspace, virtual reality, Internet, identity, religion, love, art, postmodernism, subject, fragmentation.

Shapinskaya Ekaterina Nikolaevna,
Doctor in Philosophy, Professor,
Head of Department of Applied cultural research
and education in the sphere of culture and art
Russian Institute for Cultural Research (Moscow),
e-mail: reenash@mail.ru


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