[Air-l] social networking and habbo dot com

T. Kennedy tkennedy at netwomen.ca
Tue Apr 26 11:00:03 PDT 2005

Hi Deanya

This is an interesting place. My 13 year old son spends considerable time on
Habbo and many interesting issues have surfaced - he is a clever little
social scientist already. For example, while this might be considered a
'safe' space, issues of homophobia, sexism and racism are prevalent. My son
has pointed out these issues not only in their discussions, but also in how
the characters interact and the handles they use. Also, people's accounts
are often hacked (ie: to put furniture in the 'walls' and also to pretend
you're someone else and do silly things so you lose all of your alliances).
There is also an interesting hierarchy between players reflected in the
occupations they have (they are often gendered as well), and the
organization of the virtual society (empress, emperor, prince,
princess...consorts & concubines, judges, governors, maids etc etc).
What is also neat is that although they are messaging each other on Habbo,
there is 'backchanneling' going on through MSN - both for strategy and
alliances, but also for backstabbing.

My son wanted me to tell you about cokemusic.com as well, which is similar.

I would be interested in some of these sources as well as my son and I have
a paper brewing :)


Tracy L. M. Kennedy
PhD Candidate -
Department of Sociology

Graduate Fellow -
Knowledge Media & Design Institute 

Research Associate - 
NetLab - Centre for Urban & Community Studies

University of Toronto
725 Spadina Ave.
Toronto, ON M5S 2J4
tkennedy at netwomen.ca

-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-aoir.org-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-aoir.org-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of Deanya
Sent: Tuesday, April 26, 2005 10:26 AM
To: air-l-aoir.org at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: [Air-l] social networking and habbo dot com

has anyone done any research on the habbo.com phenomenon or others like 
it?  It is a "safe site" for kids 13-18 years old where they create 
avatar characters and rooms for them, play games and chat.

If anyone has information about other sites like this (I'm currently 
looking into yub.com) or any information about articles on social 
networking that take place in these kinds of spaces, I would love to 
hear it.

I could probably also use references that survey children's computer 
use and studies of gendered behavior online.

thank you all so much for this great list.

Deanya Lattimore
ABD Syracuse, Composition & Cultural Rhetoric

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