Special Issue "Virtual Worlds"
A special issue of Future Internet (ISSN 1999-5903).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2011)
Dr. Andrew Crooks
Computational Social Science Program, Department of Computational and Data Sciences and Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
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Interests: geographical information systems and science; neogeography; crowdsourcing; volunteered geographic information; agent-based modeling, urban informatics, virtual environments and virtual worlds
This special issue of the journal Future Internet focuses on the broad topic of virtual worlds such as Second Life, Active Worlds and OpenSim and their research potential. Virtual worlds are computer simulated environments that can mimic the real world or be purely artificial. In such worlds people, in the form of avatars (a computer user's digital representation of himself/herself) interact with each other and their environment through a computer.
Such electronic environments offer huge potential for study, education and outreach across all the sciences albeit in the virtual world (see Bainbridge 2007). Virtual worlds are open to whoever is connected to the internet (with obvious limits of membership, censorship, etc.). This literally puts users "in" the internet, rather than "on" it. The ability of many to engage and interact is the key feature that defines Web 2.0 technologies where interaction is key and where most interaction is currently achieved through graphical user interfaces.
We therefore seek high-quality, original papers on any aspect of virtual world research. Example topics might include: emergence of cooperation in role playing games; the evolution of social norms; censorship within virtual worlds; modelling; creating realistic worlds and associated technological challenges; experiences of using virtual worlds for teaching purposes, public participation or as space for experimentation or debate, etc. Papers can be either empirical, conceptual or theoretical in nature, or position papers that outline and/or evaluate any important existing or emerging aspects in the field, or issues, benefits and limitations of virtual environments.
Dr. Andrew Crooks
Bainbridge, W.S. (2007) The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds. Science. 317(5837): 472-476.