[1.] In his article "The uncanny" Sigmund Freud discusses the feeling of uncanny many people experience:When we proceed to review the things, persons, impressions, events and situations which are able to arouse in us a feeling of the uncanny in a particularly forcible and definite form, the first requirement is obviously to select a suitable example to start. Jentsch has taken as a very good instance 'doubts whether an apparently animate being is really alive; or conversely, whether a lifeless object might not be in fact animate'; and he refers in this connection to the impression made by waxwork figures, ingeniously constructed dolls and automata....Jentsch writes: 'In telling a story, one of the most successful devices for easily creating uncanny effects is to leave the reader in uncertainty whether a particular figure in the story is a human being or an automaton, and to do it in such a way that his attention is not focused directly upon his uncertainty, so that he may not be led to go into the matter and clear it up immediately." That, as we have said, would quickly dissipate the peculiar emotional effect of the thing. (Freud, 1953)

[2.] The internet is full of different versions of Eliza. The example of a dialogue I have used here is taken from Eliza, computer therapist web site,

[3.] Chris Parker defines ethnography as an empirical and theoretical approach inherited from anthropology which seeks detailed holistic description and analysis of cultures based on intensive fieldwork. Ethnography concentrates on details of local life while connecting them to wider social process. (Parker, 2000: 27-28)

[4.] Avatar, originally the incarnation of a Hindu deity in human or animal form, in virtual worlds means user's visual representation of herself.

[5.] Props are small (in Palace 44x44 pixel) images that users can wear or drop in virtual rooms.

[6.] There are of course cultural differences. I as a Finn am not used to the extensive use of first names in speech in comparison to native English speakers.

[7.] With the IptScrae programming language it would be possible to measure the distance between bot and the user, but it would have to be done to each keyword seperatley. I have not done that yet to my bots.

[8.] A troll is a misbehaving, malicious, anarchistic person whose main purpose in cyberspace is to disturb and offend others.

[9.] Wizards are members who have special powers and responsibilities on The Palace server. They have access to commands that enable them to manage palace and its users. Gods in The Palace hierarchy are above wizards. In addition to a wizard's commands they have more rights to modify the server and control users. (

[10.] Meg is a character in few comedic episodes in Xena: Warrior Princess telvision show. By her appearece she is exact copy of Xena (both characters are played by same actress) but she is vagabond whose father died in childbirth. Meg is a harlot, drunk and smalltime thief.

[11.] Howard Rheingold is often mentioned as the originator of the term 'the virtual community' which was the title of his book published 1993. In the introduction of the electronic version of the book Rheingold quotes himself: "When you think of a title for a book, you are forced to think of something short and evocative, like, well, 'The Virtual Community,' even though a more accurate title might be: 'People who use computers to communicate, form friendships that sometimes form the basis of communities, but you have to be careful to not mistake the tool for the task and think that just writing words on a screen is the same thing as real community." (Rheingold 1998)

[12.] Ernest Bormann developed the theory of rhetorical visions to explain how individuals come to be part of a discursively shared community identity. Rhetorical visions explain how a narrative becomes common to a group of people. It is a collectively designed story, which explains reality. Once such a story is developed it enlarges, or is "chained out," to incorporated more people through small group settings and mass communicative events. (Boese 1998: L23). I chose to use the term rhetorical vision in this context because it seems to fit well to virtual communities where almost all communication happens in limited space and mainly through text. Hence the community indeed can be seen as rhetorical one.

[13.] One of the reasons for the popularity of the TV-show amongst lesbians is the alleged subtext of the storyline: Xena and her sidekick Gabrielle might share their bedroll bare naked, so to speak. Also the show portrays independent, unbeatable women, and its themes sometimes relate to womanhood from rather feminist point of views.

[14.] Perhaps the numerous stroties of roleplaying environments make it necessary at this point to emphasize that this time it was not a carefully constructed, fantasy like MUD role play persona that kicked the virtual bucket and caused bewilderment amongst other fictional avatar personae: someone in flesh really died, in physical reality. And no one saw this coming.

[15.] "Pin" is a command that wizards can use to control misbehaving users. It causes their avatar to be sent in the corner of the room, wearing a chain and a padlock. The pinned user is unable to move or leave the room until she is unpinned by a wizard. (

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