« Spur McGuffin: 069recorded | Main | Silent Sound »

September 05, 2006



Geography and Social interaction in Virtual Reality

"Abstract: This paper examines the interrelation between the geographical and social aspects of virtual worlds. We examine the main geographical features of Activeworlds, a multi-user virtual environment available over the Internet. Activeworlds is not only one of the most popular virtual environments, it is also the only publicly accessible one in which users can build themselves, and thus shape their geographical and social environment. We examine, among other features, transportation, mobility, and property appropriation in this virtual worlds system. Further, we describe some of the influences, both from urban planning and science fiction, on the geography of Activeworlds. We also examine the social relations that arise from these geographical conditions, including the ‘rough and ready’ mentality of this ‘cyberspace frontier’. Finally, we consider the implications of this virtual worlds system for theories of the emerging geographical and social relations in virtual environments." From Activeworlds: Geography and Social Interaction in Virtual Reality by Ralph Schroeder, Avon Huxor, and Andy Smith.

"1.0 Introduction: The idea behind ‘30 Days in ActiveWorlds’ was to fully document the development of a virtual environment from beginning to end, as a plot of virgin virtual land which, it was hoped, would develop into a community and a fully-fledged new virtual world. The aim was not to create a dialogue of life in the virtual environment, such as the well-documented “My Tiny Life” by Julian Dibbell [1] or “The Cybergypsies” by Indra Sinha [2], yet the events that unfolded over the 30 Day period led to just such a documentation, and with it my conclusions about not only community and design in a virtual environment, but also views on the increasingly blurred boundaries between what is real and what is virtual." From 30 Days in ActiveWorlds – Community, Design and Terrorism in a Virtual World by Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith; Social Life of Avatars, Chapter 8, Ralph Shroder (Editor), Springer-Verlag UK. [via Digitally Distributed Environments]

Posted by jo at September 5, 2006 08:59 AM