Virtual Worlds and the 3-D Internet

Virtual Worlds and the 3-D Internet

Carolyn McKinnell Jacobson (Mount St. Mary’s University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-100-3.ch520
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A virtual world is a computer-based simulated environment, usually modeled after the real world, accessed through an online interface, and inhabited by users in the form of avatars. The purpose of this chapter is to explore how these interactive, immersive environments are being used by a variety of organizations. Although various kinds of virtual worlds are introduced, this chapter focuses on the interactive 3-D virtual world of Second Life, describing its demographics and its features. Ways in which Second Life has been used by businesses, educational organizations, and political entities are then discussed. Legal issues associated with virtual worlds in general and Second Life in particular are raised. The chapter concludes with some ways this technology is expected to evolve in the future.

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