Virtual worlds — past, present, and future: New directions in social computing

Paul R. Messinger, Eleni Stroulia, Kelly Lyons, Michael Bone, Run H. Niu, Kristen Smirnov, Stephen Perelgut
2009 Decision Support Systems  
a r t i c l e i n f o Available online xxxx Virtual worlds, where thousands of people can interact simultaneously within the same three-dimensional environment, represent a frontier in social computing with critical implications for business, education, social sciences, and our society at large. In this paper, we first trace the history of virtual worlds back to its antecedents in electronic gaming and on-line social networking. We then provide an overview of extant virtual worlds, including
more » ... cation-focused, theme-based, community-specific, children-focused, and selfdetermined worldsand we analyze the relationship among these worlds according to an initial taxonomy for the area. Recognizing the apparent leadership of Second Life among today's self-determined virtual worlds, we present a detailed case study of this environment, including surveys of 138 residents regarding how they perceive and utilize the environment. Lastly, we provide a literature review of existing virtual world research, with a focus on business research, and a condensed summary of research issues in education, social sciences, and humanities.
doi:10.1016/j.dss.2009.02.014 fatcat:u2iv6yrgwzd27iohwonriqx3wq