Lilia Gomez Flores B.A. in Graphic Design; MPhil in 2D/3D Motion Graphics

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


School of Simulation and Visualisation



Lilia Gomez Flores
Image and Cultural Studies in Virtual Communities in the Internet

Lilia Gomez Flores


Lilia Gomez Flores

Image and Cultural Studies in Virtual Communities in the Internet

Supervisors: Prof. Minhua Eunice Ma; Dr. Nicole Bourque (University of Glasgow)

The relatively easy use of new technologies has created a new form of McLuhan’s Global Village, one that depends on computer mediated communication for its survival but one that, thanks to those same computers and their possibilities, has grown and evolved faster and further than anyone could have expected. These new cultures, and its subsequent subcultures embodied through virtual communities in the Internet, have created new ways of communication cemented in the ones previously developed in the traditional world.

People from all over the world create every day avatars, which are visual representations of themselves within these virtual communities, and through them they have built consciously or unconsciously a new and unexplored visual culture. The main objective of my research is to assess if the cultural background of each person in Real Life, affects the way they visually design their avatars, and if, and how, it affects the interaction with other avatars.

I used two different avatars as researchers conducting Virtual Ethnography and Visual Anthropology within Second Life, one of the most popular Virtual Communities in the Internet at the moment. A cross cultural study was conducted using three cultures represented in the community, Latin American, Anglo British and American. Five cultural elements, religion, family, work, leisure and sexuality, were used to assess if and how the cultural background of each person influence the image and interaction of their avatar within the community.