Virtual World
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Virtual Worlds

What is it?

A virtual world is a computer-based online community environment that is designed and shared by individuals so that they can interact in a custom-built, simulated world. Users interact with each other in this simulated world using text-based, two-dimensional or three-dimensional graphical models called avatars. Avatars are graphically rendered using computer graphics imaging or any other rendering technology. Individuals control their avatars using input devices like the keyboard, mouse and other specially designed command and simulation gadgets. Today's virtual worlds are purpose-built for entertainment, social, educational, training and various other purposes.

All virtual worlds possess the qualities of persistence and interactivity. This enables the users to explore the inherent benefits of socialization and allows them to study human nature and users' abilities.

A virtual world may also be called a digital world.


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What platforms do it run on?

Virtual Worlds take a number of platforms that have output devices on them. Therefore, majority of platforms are computers, phones, for various purposes including
education, three-demensional games and every other form of technologies that encompass


What does this involve?

Virtual Worlds can involve a variety of different things. An important component of a Virtual World is the avatar. It is the representation of yourself that you present to the rest of the Virtual World you are a part of. In fact, in Sanskrit the word "avatara" means "incarnation", so it is literally an incarnation of yourself that you can design and customize to be whatever you want it to be. The avatar's capabilities also affect what the user can do in the Virtual World itself. It is through the avatar that you interact with the virtual world and the other people in it.

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heading level Origin/History

• Identify a case studies (one per person in group)

Woonson Kim's Case Study
Jason An's Case Study
Sophie Han's Case Study

Advantages of Virtual Worlds

1. Socializing- Sometimes people join virtual worlds not only to play games but to meet new people and socialize online.
2. Education- Some virtual worlds have been created for educational purposes. In most cases, educational worlds are sponsored by academic institutions or nonprofit organizations, although some educational worlds are sponsored by corporations. In the 3D world recreations of museums, computer programming tutorials, virtual libraries, and meeting spaces for online university courses are for education purposes.
3. Political Expression- Virtual worlds can serve as forums for political expression and debate. While real-world political issues can show up in gaming, there are a few times where separate virtual worlds have been built for the purpose of political debate or even experiments in various types of self- governing online communities.
4. Military Training- The U.S. Military is also using virtual worlds to the best of their advantage. They use it to recruit potential soldiers, and work with military groups to develop training simulations.


Disadvantages of Virtual Worlds

1. Hardware- The hardware needed to create a fully immersed virtual world experience is still cost prohibitive. The technology for such an experience is still new and experimental.
2. Training- Training with a virtual world environment does not have the same consequences as training and working in the real world. This means that even if someone does well with tasks in a virtual wold environment, that person might not do well in the real world.
3. Escaping the Real World- The idea of escaping the real world is common among those that use virtual environments and people often live in the virtual world instead of dealing with the real one.

Earlier tools

• In 1967 the Canadian Geographic Information Systems came online. This was the world's first operational computerized geographic information system (GIS)

• In 1978, the first "1D" (text-based) chat world, MUD (Multi-User Dungeon/Domain)came out. It spawned a decade of increasingly popular text-based virtual communities run on servers.

• In 1987, the first 2D chat world, or "graphical MUD," Habitat. Habitat was the first successful attempt at a large-scale commercial 2D virtual community.

• In 1993, Mosaic became the first widely distributed web browser (multimedia graphical user interface), to run on the Windows operating system.

• In 1997, Ultima Online (UO) is a graphical massively multiplayer online role-playing game and it became the first 3D MMORPG. Electric Communities beta tested the fully distributed virtual world platform EC Habitats.

• In 2003, Second Life debuted, the first 3D persistent virtual world that allows its users to retain property rights to the virtual objects they create in the online economy.

• In 2005, Google released Google Maps, a free web server GIS application that can be embedded on any website using the Google API.

• In 2007, Second Life announced they would release their complex (and for newbies, difficult-to-use) VW viewer software to the open source community for modification and customization.

Today’s version

Web 2.0 (Participatory Web) technologies, led by innovative social networks, browsers, and search platforms, are accelerating the use of 3D and other rich media.
ex) Youtube, myspace, wikipedia, google maps, Flock, Gaia X,Opera 9, Writely (Google's online word processor)

Physical Hyperlinks (Physical World Hyperlinks) are any machine readable identifier (1D and 2D barcodes, RFID tag, image, sound, fingerprint) that can be resolved by a cell phone to dial a phone number, start an email, or facilitate a direct Internet connection.

The future of virtual worlds

While current RMT activity and the use of avatars to project real-world identity demonstrate that the boundary between the virtual and the real is already quite blurred, this boundary will fad
e even more over time.
From increased growth of virtual asset trade to greater use of virtual worlds as tools for socializing, over time virtual worlds will evolve well beyond their gaming roots. For better or for worse, virtual worlds will increasingly function as centers of commerce, trade, and business.
In Second Life alone, transactions have reached a rate of 2.7 million US dollars per month. Real world brands will use virtual worlds to prototype, advertise and sell goods. Brands that have already appeared in virtual worlds include Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Nike, Levi's and DaimlerChrysler.
A multiplicity of metaverses will exceed the singular conception of one centralized online world envisioned by science fiction authors, for just as we've seen an endless variety of websites over the past decade, we'll see an ever-increasing variety of virtual worlds.


Works Cited

- http://www.techopedia.com/definition/25604/virtual-world