While doing my literature review on MMORPGs and Metaverses, I came across the theory of The Third Place (Oldenburg, 1999). In particular, I was reading Constance Steinkuehler’s “Where Everyone Knows Your (Screen) Name: Online Games as ‘Third Places’ ” as published in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication (JCMC).
As neatly summerized in Wikipedia, The Third Place is a term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from the two usual social environments of home and the workplace. Ray Oldenburg wrote The Great, Good Place (August 1999), perhaps the most influential work to date on why third places are important for civil society. Third places and public spaces are important features for democracy, civic engagement, and establishing feelings of a sense of place.
I was explaining this concept to my study-buddy MrBig when he joked about how he doesn’t even have a “Second Place”. Being a fellow doctoral student who spends plenty of time in school, he considers his home as his 2nd workplace (as seen in the 1min comic strip above).
How true, how true! 😛