... but I use the term actual because what occurs online in virtual Harbin, and in actual Harbin, can be equally as real, meaningful and significant, to persons engaging these.
Whether what virtual worlds like Second Life make possible are worlds of gaming or the Age of Techne (Boellstorff 2008: 21) - roughly, 'making things with technologies,' - or a world of virtuality, which I read as ongoing expressions of multimedia (Packer and Jordan), I argue here through ethnographic field work that what the building of virtual Harbin makes possible is new multimedia expressions of actual Harbin's already virtual or sociocultural – counterculture in the case of Harbin - experiences. Here 'virtual' and 'cultural' share qualities of ineffability, shared symbolization, and immersion in contexts. In this interpretation, ethnographic field work of actual Harbin gives form to readings of Harbin's culture, - in the pools, particularly – where its virtual qualities interweave with multimedia experiences of virtual Harbin. In virtual Harbin, immersive experiences become possible in one's own bathtub as well as multimedia-wise.
Anthropologically, I don't read the making of virtual Harbin Hot Springs in Second Life (MacLeod ) as the making of a game,
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/06/red-rocks-i-argue-here-through.html - June 15, 2010)