The Current State and Future Potential of Virtual Worlds

The Current State and Future Potential of Virtual Worlds

John M. Artz (The George Washington University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch804
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Virtual worlds, while not a new phenomenon, have come to the foreground of information technology in the past few years largely due to the growth of Second Life, a three dimensional, global virtual world that has captured the imagination of millions. This article provides some background on this virtual world phenomenon providing both a history and a classification of virtual world technology. It then focuses on Second Life discussing the application, technology, and social implications. Included in the discussion are some current initiatives such as the open source client and server projects and the implications of those initiatives. Finally, we provide some speculation on the future potential of virtual world technology as an extrapolation of the current trajectory.

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