Designing Pervasive Virtual Worlds

Designing Pervasive Virtual Worlds

Everardo Reyes-Garcia (University of Paris 13, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3822-6.ch069
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Abstract

Virtual worlds can be approached in a broader sense of that which refers to common conceptions of virtual reality and immersive environments. This chapter explores the design of virtual worlds in a time when much contemporary media is accessed through and simulated by software. Today, the main extensions of man are cognitive skills and experiences. Software is a way of seeing the world; it plays a central role in media design and distribution. Software and perception of reality are intertwined and pervasive: media not only exist in form of software but the shape and properties of media are also designed with software. In order to understand the implications of computational media, it is necessary to re-articulate problems in a creative and virtual manner. At the end of the chapter, the author speculates on design approaches and presents some examples developed by him.
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Background: Pervasive Virtual Worlds

The classic definition of virtual worlds, also referred to as ‘artificial worlds’ or ‘virtual environments’, comes from research on computer virtual reality. The first innovations in this field started during the 1960s. Prominent examples of pioneering systems include the “Sensorama Simulator” by Morton Heiling in 1960, and the “Ultimate Display” by Ivan Sutherland in 1965. Short after, the first artistic virtual worlds were developed. David Em, while artist in residence at NASA, created “Aku” (1977), “Transjovian Pipeline” (1979) and “Persepol” (1985). From this tradition, a virtual reality system has been defined as

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