Creative Collaborative Virtual Environments

Creative Collaborative Virtual Environments

Luís Eustáquio (Universidade do Porto, Portugal) and Catarina Carneiro de Sousa (Polytechnic Institute of Viseu, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch034

Abstract

The authors propose to define creative collaborative virtual environments (CCVEs) as platforms for collaborative and distributed creation in online communities. This will be established by examining virtual worlds as agents of change towards new creative and collaborative models. CCVEs are grounded on three key elements: creation, collaboration, and distribution. These relate not only to the technical but also to the social layers of virtual online communities. Shared creativity and distributed authorship are approached as examples of specific dynamics rooted upon these three elements. The concept of CCVE is important to the design of emerging virtual worlds, specifically regarding the preservation of affordances for collaborative creativity. Discussion based on these observations demonstrates how collaborative creation of new content and meaning takes place in CCVEs, and how they transform communicative and creative agency in digital communities.
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The Creative Approach To Cve

A collaborative space enables dialogue and exchanges between users, but is not required to enable content creation at its core. On the other hand, a creative environment does not strictly require online collaborative features to afford creativity. As noted by Lévy (2001), the distinction between read-only and read/write virtual worlds is not an opposition. Many virtual environments are able to digest “offline” processes to some extent, importing or exporting content. Others may allow some degree of self-expression, through limited customization options. However, limited presets do not empower users to create or reinvent their own virtual world. To achieve this potential, users must be able to create, modify, transform and redistribute media assets that constitute the very fabric of the virtual world: notably, audiovisual components (including 3D data, if applicable) and program code.

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