... gives form to actual Harbin's countercultural milieu in a particular virtual world.
Virtual Harbin's emergence from actual Harbin reflects ongoing expressions of the 'network society' (Castells, The Rise of the Network Society, 2000, and Castells ,The Internet Galaxy, ), where sociocultural processes – counterculture, in this interpretation - that have found form at actual Harbin Hot Springs since 1972 now find new form in multimedia in virtual Harbin. The significance of the scope and scale of virtual worlds, and their role in human life, relative to, for example, the nation-state (Anderson, Imagined Communities, in Boellstorff 2008: 24)) or to the printing press and the widespread emergence of texts and literacy, as well as pre-world wide web (and pre-internet) media, needs further study (http://webnographers.org/books). Both national identity as well as forms of social interaction and narrativity can be argued to change dramatically relative to these other process. The pace of change of giving form to these new forms of sociality are also difficult to assess at present. The possibility to create, with information technologies, new forms of counterculture emerging from the 1960s in virtual Harbin, in new ways, is something ethnography can uniquely represent.
While both actual and virtual Harbin may articulate in new ways, as countercultural 'places,' in my interpretation, in the context of the Network Society, I want to suggest that Harbin is also singular (Kopytoff) in a variety of ways, vis-a-vis virtuality ...
(http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2010/06/toucan-irtual-harbins-emergence-from.html - June 30, 2010)