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Themesicon: navigation pathCyborg Bodiesicon: navigation pathMythical Bodies II

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part of a carefully calculated marketing strategy—remain marginal or reminiscent of the ‹logic of the freak show› and serve a similar purpose as in the other advertising media of the consumer and entertainment industries.

But what could cancel out this ‹logic of the freak show›? Possibly precisely that factor that in the text-based communication and game environments, too, is most likely to be capable of contributing to crossing the stereotypical patterns of perception and self-perception or action, reaction and interaction within the framework of traditional gender dichotomies: The experience of gender as construction.

If role play and masquerade, or more accurately put: a role play that allows gender to become discernible as a masquerade and ‹doing gender› to be experienced in interaction with others, are important vehicles, then at this point it suggests itself to have a look at the area of «adventure» computer games: These are computer games in which the players slip into the role of a main character in order to enter interaction either with programmed characters or


characters activated by other players. [43] However, as a rule the «artificial humans» who act here as protagonists and representative figures, i.e. «avatars » of the players, are usually embodied by gender stereotypes that border on being caricatures—something that can be demonstrated quite succinctly on one of those figures we previously became acquainted with as «Future Eve's» sister.

New heroines?

Female heroines, as they populate the computer screens in the wake of the most well-known amongst them, «Lara Croft,» may represent strong fighters by nature, however at the same time, with their long legs, wasp waists, narrow shoulders, doll faces and above all their ‹naturally› protruding breasts they correspond with the familiar ‹Barbie doll› scheme from head to foot—as more or less incessantly propagated since the nineteen-sixties by the entertainment industry and the mass media of the Western world as the image of the ‹ideal woman› furnished with ‹ideal measurements.› Many of them also directly or indirectly cite the iconography of idealized images of women handed

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