Post-print of: Adrian, A 2008, 'No-one knows you're a dog: identity and reputation in virtual worlds', Computer Law & Security Review, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 366-374.
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“Virtual world” identities are becoming indistinguishable from “real” identities, just as “e-commerce” became indistinguishable from “commerce”. Control over online avatar identities has begun to have many real-world consequences. We can use the graphical, networked screen to create vibrant, visual representations of personal identity (i.e., the avatar) separate from and independent of our offline characteristics while simultaneously creating context-specific reputations in online communities separate from and independent of our social identity in real space. This article will explore the notions of identity and reputation both of the online user and his/her alter ego avatar.