Virtual Worlds

Overview

  • A virtual world is an online community that takes the form of a computer-based simulated environment through which users can interact with one another and use and create objects.
  • Users create Avatars which act as their representatives in the virtual world
  • Captures most forms of human interaction and allow for individuals to experience an alternative world in which to possible live more lavish lives than in the physical world
  • Outcompete the physical world in costs and efficiencies which makes them attractive to users
  • Unlike Mirror Worlds Virtual worlds are not meant to be reflections of the real world
  • Augmented Reality is actually the inverse of virtual worlds. Virtual worlds digitally represent an imagined world. Augmented Reality, on the other hand, places virtual designs upon a real world.

History & Origin

  • First, it began with perceptual illusion.
  • Then the Sensorama was introduced( a device used to stimulate all 5 senses)
  • Virtual reality simulators were the first form of virtual worlds implemented onto computers.
  • Maze War was introduced shortly after; first 3D person shooter game ; a variety of its concepts were used in many games to follow.
  • The first virtual worlds available on the Internet were online chat rooms which soon developed into MUDs( multi user dungeon; limited graphics and communication through text based commands)
  • Prototype online virtual worlds were then created such as The Palace. The very first successful online virtual worlds was Habitat in 1967.
  • Then 3D online virtual worlds were created; then child friendly virtual words; and ideas went on leading us to where we are today.

Case Studies

Club Penguin
High Fidelity
Sims 4
EverQuest
Starlight Xperience

Strengths

  • Virtual worlds allow disabled and sick individuals to thrive in safe online communities, while providing these individuals with an escape from reality.
  • Virtual worlds enable individuals to gain a sense of physical and emotional freedom because →actions in a virtual space are not limited to only those which they can exercise in the real world.
  • Interactions with individuals in a virtual world enables an individual to learn a variety of social skills and assimilate these skills to mimic those in real life.
  • Virtual worlds poses little to no risks to individuals in a highly realistic setting

Weaknesses

  • Virtual worlds encourage anti social behavior by enabling people to live in somewhat of a fantasy.
  • The equipment used to run virtual worlds is very expensive and those who can not afford the tech do not experience the benefits.
  • Virtual Worlds encourage socially unacceptable behavior due to a lack of laws and rules.

Future of Virtual Worlds

  • Virtual Worlds will become more prominent in society
  • There are constant pushes towards progressing the technology
  • The boundary between the virtual and the real is already quite blurred, this boundary will fade even more 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.
  • Real world brands will use virtual worlds to prototype, advertise and sell goods.Nike, Mcdonalds, etc.
  • An ever-increasing variety of virtual worlds.
  • Worlds for a career, for school, games, and talking to family and friends
  • With advances in technology, virtual worlds will increasingly become part of everyday life

Further interesting topics on the rise are Life logging and Blockchain

Sources

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