Avatars at Work and Play: Collaboration and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments

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Ralph Schroeder, Ann-Sofie Axelsson
Springer Science & Business Media, Feb 6, 2006 - Computers - 278 pages

Avatars at Work and Play brings together contributions from leading social scientists and computer scientists who have conducted research on virtual environments used for collaboration and online gaming. They present a well-rounded and state-of-the-art overview of current applications of multi-user virtual environments, ranging from highly immersive virtual reality systems to internet-based virtual environments on personal computers. The volume is a follow-up to a previous essay collection, ‘The Social Life of Avatars’, which explored general issues in this field. This collection goes further, examining uses of shared virtual environments in practical settings such as scientific collaboration, distributed meetings, building models together, and others. It also covers online gaming in virtual environments, which has attracted hundreds of thousands of users and presents an opportunity for studying a myriad of social issues. Covering both ‘work’ and ‘play’, the volume brings together issues common to the two areas, including:

What kind of avatar appearance is suitable for different kinds of interaction? How best to foster collaboration and promote usable shared virtual spaces? What kinds of activities work well in different types of virtual environments and systems?

Avatars at Work and Play will be required reading for computer scientists and social scientists who are researching and developing virtual worlds. It will be useful on courses in New Media and human-computer interaction

 

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Contents

Transformed Social Interaction Exploring the Digital Plasticity of Avatars
1
Selective Fidelity Investigating Priorities for the Creation of Expressive Avatars
17
Analysis and Visualization of Social Diffusion Patterns in Threedimensional Virtual Worlds
39
Collaborative Virtual Environments for Scientific Collaboration Technical and Organizational Design Frameworks
63
Analyzing Fragments of Collaboration in Distributed Immersive Virtual Environments
97
The Impact of Display System and Embodiment on Closely Coupled Collaboration Between Remote Users
131
The Good Inequality Supporting GroupWork in Shared Virtual Environments
151
Consequences of Playing Violent Video Games in Immersive Virtual Environments
167
The Psychology of Massively Multiuser Online Roleplaying Games Motivations Emotional Investment Relationships and Problematic Usage
187
Questing for KnowledgeVirtual Worlds as Dynamic Processes of Social Interaction
209
Play and Sociability in There Some Lessons from Online Games for Collaborative Virtual Environments
227
Digital Dystopia Player Control and Strategic Innovation in the Sims Online
247
Index
275
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