What can happen when you make contact in a MOO

John Sutherland

  • My Tiny Life: Crime and Punishment in a Virtual World by Donald Dibbell
    Fourth Estate, 336 pp, £16.99, January 1999, ISBN 1 84115 058 4

Thoughtcrime, as conceived by George Orwell, was one of the black flowers of Thirties totalitarianism. By criminalising thought the dictatorial state planned to erase individuality – even an individuality as insignificant as Winston Smith’s. In the Orwellian dystopia the state’s apparatus was primarily bureaucratic: new technology – in the form of the ubiquitous telescreen (TV that watched you) – was instrumental but not central.

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