Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual

Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual

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William Sims Bainbridge Virtual worlds are persistent online computer-generated environments where people can interact, whether for work or play, in a manner comparable to the real world. The most prominent current example is World of Warcraft (Corneliussen and Rettberg 2008), a massively multiplayer online game with 11 million s- scribers. Some other virtual worlds, notably Second Life (Rymaszewski et al. 2007), are not games at all, but Internet-based collaboration contexts in which people can create virtual objects, simulated architecture, and working groups. Although interest in virtual worlds has been growing for at least a dozen years, only today it is possible to bring together an international team of highly acc- plished authors to examine them with both care and excitement, employing a range of theories and methodologies to discover the principles that are making virtual worlds increasingly popular and may in future establish them as a major sector of human-centered computing.In this, they share characteristics with the more broadly defined virtual worlds ( VWs), their distinguishing feature being a more objective-driven ... The most successful MMOG to date, World of Warcraft (WoW), is home to 11 million subscribers worldwide, and several competitors host at ... What sets these games truly apart are their emphasis, by design, on sociability and interaction between the players.

Title:Online Worlds: Convergence of the Real and the Virtual
Author:William Sims Bainbridge
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2009-12-08


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