Comments on: Dialogue – round 1 http://worlds.ruc.dk Sense-making strategies and user-driven innovations in virtual worlds Fri, 12 Apr 2013 15:45:55 +0200 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 hourly 1 By: The Multiplicity of Virtual Worlds | Playing, With Research http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-90234 The Multiplicity of Virtual Worlds | Playing, With Research Wed, 27 Feb 2013 01:11:01 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-90234 [...] to the conference.  In this step, the research community will also be asked to participate in an online discussion as the first of three rounds of dialogue about the terms used to discuss virtual world [...] [...] to the conference.  In this step, the research community will also be asked to participate in an online discussion as the first of three rounds of dialogue about the terms used to discuss virtual world [...]

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By: Dialogue on Defining Virtual Worlds – Virtual Worlds Research Project http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-3242 Dialogue on Defining Virtual Worlds – Virtual Worlds Research Project Mon, 12 Jul 2010 09:51:03 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-3242 [...] Dialogue – round 1 [...] [...] Dialogue – round 1 [...]

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By: Isto Huvila http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2897 Isto Huvila Wed, 09 Jun 2010 13:48:28 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2897 1) What definition of “virtual worlds” do you use? The term virtual is highly problematic and has a lot of rather unnecessary baggage from the dotcom era. Therefore, it calls for a rather precise definition to be usable. Personally, I think that the view of Pierre Lévy that virtual is not an antithesis of real, but rather something that is non-actual is a useful baseline. Virtual is something that is definitely real, but not quite here if here is defined in very concrete meaning as being in this very particular physical place and time. The world part of the concept refers, in my opinion, to a world i.e. something that is comparable or similar to the physical world we are living in. Building on my 2006 (http://www.istohuvila.eu/dissertation) definition of virtual reality, I would see a virtual world as a non-actual (in a rather inclusive meaning) thing with some worldly characteristics A "3D virtual world" is clearly a virtual world, but also a wealth of other things can be a virtual world. 2) How are the following similar/dissimilar to one another: virtual world, virtual environment, virtual reality and virtual community? The terms have been used in very different contexts, but to be consequent I would say that these are different manifestations or contexts of virtuality. Environment does not need to be a world, but has to be a space (i.e. environment for some activity). 3D chats are hardly virtual worlds, but can surely be virtual environments. A VR emphasises its relation to real, but it does not have to be spacial. In virtual communities, the focus is and should be on people and their mutual interactions. 3) Consider the list of labels supplied below. Of all the labels, what do you consider to be the 7-10 (or more if you need to) main labels used to describe virtual worlds? What leads you to say this? virtual reality synthetic world digital world metaverse virtual environments synthetic environments If the question is to label virtual worlds with quasi-similar terms it is pretty tricky. Almost all of the labels could be very good to describe some particular and particular types of virtual worlds, but not all of them. I don't myself think that the dichotomy of gaming worlds and social worlds is that productive it has been suggested to be when it comes to many other aspects than the 'pure' gamish things going on. Virtual worlds are for sure to a sense synthetic (although not necessarily in whole) and digital, they are part of the metaverse. MMOs, MMORPG etc. can be examples virtual worlds like a wealth of other things including casual and non-casual games. Multiple users can be often found in virtual worlds as multiple people is a rather descriptive thing in 'world', but I could think that there could be a kind of virtual world without a special emphasis on multiple users. Virtual world is (almost?) always to an extent a virtual reality and a virtual environment so they should be pretty ok. 1) What definition of “virtual worlds” do you use?

The term virtual is highly problematic and has a lot of rather unnecessary baggage from the dotcom era. Therefore, it calls for a rather precise definition to be usable. Personally, I think that the view of Pierre Lévy that virtual is not an antithesis of real, but rather something that is non-actual is a useful baseline. Virtual is something that is definitely real, but not quite here if here is defined in very concrete meaning as being in this very particular physical place and time. The world part of the concept refers, in my opinion, to a world i.e. something that is comparable or similar to the physical world we are living in. Building on my 2006 (http://www.istohuvila.eu/dissertation) definition of virtual reality, I would see a virtual world as a non-actual (in a rather inclusive meaning) thing with some worldly characteristics A “3D virtual world” is clearly a virtual world, but also a wealth of other things can be a virtual world.

2) How are the following similar/dissimilar to one another: virtual world, virtual environment, virtual reality and virtual community?

The terms have been used in very different contexts, but to be consequent I would say that these are different manifestations or contexts of virtuality. Environment does not need to be a world, but has to be a space (i.e. environment for some activity). 3D chats are hardly virtual worlds, but can surely be virtual environments. A VR emphasises its relation to real, but it does not have to be spacial. In virtual communities, the focus is and should be on people and their mutual interactions.

3) Consider the list of labels supplied below. Of all the labels, what do you consider to be the 7-10 (or more if you need to) main labels used to describe virtual worlds? What leads you to say this?

virtual reality
synthetic world
digital world
metaverse
virtual environments
synthetic environments

If the question is to label virtual worlds with quasi-similar terms it is pretty tricky. Almost all of the labels could be very good to describe some particular and particular types of virtual worlds, but not all of them. I don’t myself think that the dichotomy of gaming worlds and social worlds is that productive it has been suggested to be when it comes to many other aspects than the ‘pure’ gamish things going on. Virtual worlds are for sure to a sense synthetic (although not necessarily in whole) and digital, they are part of the metaverse. MMOs, MMORPG etc. can be examples virtual worlds like a wealth of other things including casual and non-casual games. Multiple users can be often found in virtual worlds as multiple people is a rather descriptive thing in ‘world’, but I could think that there could be a kind of virtual world without a special emphasis on multiple users. Virtual world is (almost?) always to an extent a virtual reality and a virtual environment so they should be pretty ok.

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By: Thomas Kohler http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2842 Thomas Kohler Wed, 02 Jun 2010 12:47:54 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2842 1) To define virtual worlds I employ the broad definition by Castronova (2005), who describes virtual worlds as computer-generated physical spaces, represented graphically in three dimensions that can be experienced by many users at once. 2) Virtual environment to me is the umbrella term to include asynchronous, two-dimensional or traditional web-based online platforms. Virtual reality as discussed above seeks to mimic reality and relies heavier on technological devices as virtual worlds. For virtual worlds it is mainly the computer screen that turns into a window through which an alternative world can be seen or as the analogy provided by Bricken (1991) illustrates: “Viewing 3-D graphics on a screen is like looking into the ocean from a glass-bottom boat. We see through a flat window into an animated environment; we experience being on the boat”. When I think about virtual community, Howard Rheingold’s definition comes to mind: "Virtual communities are social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace". While virtual worlds host a number of different virtual communities and form a virtual community as a whole, the technology does not necessarily need to be used to build or host virtual communities. It can also be used for simulations, one-time collaborations or communication efforts among many other applications. 3) From reading blogs, articles and books the following terms appear to be most commonly used to describe virtual worlds: 3D web, virtual reality, digital world, social virtual world, metaverse, 3D platform, virtual environments. 1) To define virtual worlds I employ the broad definition by Castronova (2005), who describes virtual worlds as computer-generated physical spaces, represented graphically in three dimensions that can be experienced by many users at once.

2) Virtual environment to me is the umbrella term to include asynchronous, two-dimensional or traditional web-based online platforms.

Virtual reality as discussed above seeks to mimic reality and relies heavier on technological devices as virtual worlds. For virtual worlds it is mainly the computer screen that turns into a window through which an alternative world can be seen or as the analogy provided by Bricken (1991) illustrates: “Viewing 3-D graphics on a screen is like looking into the ocean from a glass-bottom boat. We see through a flat window into an animated environment; we experience being on the boat”.

When I think about virtual community, Howard Rheingold’s definition comes to mind: “Virtual communities are social aggregations that emerge from the Net when enough people carry on those public discussions long enough, with sufficient human feeling, to form webs of personal relationships in cyberspace”. While virtual worlds host a number of different virtual communities and form a virtual community as a whole, the technology does not necessarily need to be used to build or host virtual communities. It can also be used for simulations, one-time collaborations or communication efforts among many other applications.

3) From reading blogs, articles and books the following terms appear to be most commonly used to describe virtual worlds: 3D web, virtual reality, digital world, social virtual world, metaverse, 3D platform, virtual environments.

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By: Kim Holmberg http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2838 Kim Holmberg Wed, 02 Jun 2010 06:49:19 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2838 Your three questions are: 1) What definition of “virtual worlds” do you use? I would go with a narrow definition that brings up three dimensionality and multiple users, however, I tend to not to use any definition. The word "virtual" is somewhat problematic. In Finland the term "virtual education" has been used for a long time and it has included e.g. learning platforms that can be accessed with a web-browser. I would not call this type of education virtual, as virtual refers to 3D I think. Another "problem" is what to call the world outside virtual worlds. "Real world" or "Real life" are hardly describing and they suggest that "virtual" isn't real, which is not the case for many people and many organisations. 2) How are the following similar/dissimilar to one another: virtual world, virtual environment, virtual reality and virtual community? Again, I think that whenever "virtual" is used it includes 3D and multiple users. Hence, terms above are almost synonyms in my opinion. Virtual reality however is something that has been around for a long time and could be considered as a more technical term referring to technology and advances in it. 3) Consider the list of labels supplied below. Of all the labels, what do you consider to be the 7-10 (or more if you need to) main labels used to describe virtual worlds? What leads you to say this? Mainly these (these I would use): virtual reality social virtual world metaverse virtual environments and these are almost synonyms to each other: Multi-User Object Oriented Domain/Dungeon (MOD) Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online (MMO) Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Game(MMOG) Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Social Game (MMOSG) Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) Multi-User Virtual/Visual Environment (MUVE) Social Virtual World Environment (SVWE) Multi-User Simulated Environment (MUSE) Your three questions are:

1) What definition of “virtual worlds” do you use?

I would go with a narrow definition that brings up three dimensionality and multiple users, however, I tend to not to use any definition. The word “virtual” is somewhat problematic. In Finland the term “virtual education” has been used for a long time and it has included e.g. learning platforms that can be accessed with a web-browser. I would not call this type of education virtual, as virtual refers to 3D I think. Another “problem” is what to call the world outside virtual worlds. “Real world” or “Real life” are hardly describing and they suggest that “virtual” isn’t real, which is not the case for many people and many organisations.

2) How are the following similar/dissimilar to one another: virtual world, virtual environment, virtual reality and virtual community?

Again, I think that whenever “virtual” is used it includes 3D and multiple users. Hence, terms above are almost synonyms in my opinion. Virtual reality however is something that has been around for a long time and could be considered as a more technical term referring to technology and advances in it.

3) Consider the list of labels supplied below. Of all the labels, what do you consider to be the 7-10 (or more if you need to) main labels used to describe virtual worlds? What leads you to say this?

Mainly these (these I would use):

virtual reality
social virtual world
metaverse
virtual environments

and these are almost synonyms to each other:

Multi-User Object Oriented Domain/Dungeon (MOD)
Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online (MMO)
Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Game(MMOG)
Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Social Game (MMOSG)
Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
Multi-User Virtual/Visual Environment (MUVE)
Social Virtual World Environment (SVWE)
Multi-User Simulated Environment (MUSE)

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By: CarrieLynn http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2829 CarrieLynn Tue, 01 Jun 2010 13:00:46 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2829 From Simon Bignell via email: 1) What definition of “virtual worlds” do you use? A ‘virtual world’ is a place in which a physical object cannot pass through. 2) How are the following similar/dissimilar to one another: virtual world, virtual environment, virtual reality and virtual community? If we are comparing four things and they all share a commonality we can eliminate the commonality. That leaves us with ‘World’, ‘Environment’, ‘Reality’ and ‘Community’. So, the question becomes “How are the following similar and dissimilar?” Which is really is single question of, “What is the relation between these?” So, I’ll attempt that. First, I think it is safe to reduce ‘World’ into ‘Environment’ seeing as though a world must exist in an environment. So, we have, Environment, Reality, Community. An ‘environment’ is a place that things exist in. ‘Reality’ is the conviction that that place exists. ‘Community’ is what happens when people accept that their own environment is shared in the reality of others. 3) Consider the list of labels supplied below. Of all the labels, what do you consider to be the 7-10 (or more if you need to) main labels used to describe virtual worlds? What leads you to say this? 1. 3D platform 2. virtual environments 3. Multi-User Virtual/Visual Environment (MUVE) 4. Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) 5. synthetic environments 6. virtual reality 7. online game 8. synthetic world 9. metaverse 10. 3D environments I’ve based my choices on the frequency with which I hear people use these in describing what I understand to be ‘virtual worlds’. I use the term ‘3D Virtual Worlds’ but I think the term ‘synthetic environments’ has by far the best Rock n’ Roll credentials. From Simon Bignell via email:

1) What definition of “virtual worlds” do you use?
A ‘virtual world’ is a place in which a physical object cannot pass through.

2) How are the following similar/dissimilar to one another: virtual world, virtual environment, virtual reality and virtual community?
If we are comparing four things and they all share a commonality we can eliminate the commonality. That leaves us with ‘World’, ‘Environment’, ‘Reality’ and ‘Community’. So, the question becomes “How are the following similar and dissimilar?” Which is really is single question of, “What is the relation between these?” So, I’ll attempt that. First, I think it is safe to reduce ‘World’ into ‘Environment’ seeing as though a world must exist in an environment. So, we have, Environment, Reality, Community. An ‘environment’ is a place that things exist in. ‘Reality’ is the conviction that that place exists. ‘Community’ is what happens when people accept that their own environment is shared in the reality of others.

3) Consider the list of labels supplied below. Of all the labels, what do you consider to be the 7-10 (or more if you need to) main labels used to describe virtual worlds? What leads you to say this?
1. 3D platform
2. virtual environments
3. Multi-User Virtual/Visual Environment (MUVE)
4. Massive(ly) Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG)
5. synthetic environments
6. virtual reality
7. online game
8. synthetic world
9. metaverse
10. 3D environments

I’ve based my choices on the frequency with which I hear people use these in describing what I understand to be ‘virtual worlds’. I use the term ‘3D Virtual Worlds’ but I think the term ‘synthetic environments’ has by far the best Rock n’ Roll credentials.

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By: R. Ates Gürsimsek http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2733 R. Ates Gürsimsek Wed, 26 May 2010 12:19:39 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2733 I'd like to change the last answer (synthetic world) to "digital world".. it makes more sense this way..:) I’d like to change the last answer (synthetic world) to “digital world”.. it makes more sense this way..:)

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By: R. Ates Gürsimsek http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2732 R. Ates Gürsimsek Wed, 26 May 2010 12:11:51 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2732 1. Although I imagine the construction of the 'virtual' going much more father back than digital techologies; for defining 'virtual world', I prefer to stay close to 'persistent online and simulated virtual environments where participants share the virtual space in real time'.. As I am researching collaborative co-design activities of users in some of these virtual worlds, I am also personally interested in 'being modified/shaped/formed/created by its participants' and 'allowing user-generated content' as important issues that virtual worlds I'll be focusing on should have. Being 'virtual' in this sense is not only about the participation experience, or the collaborative work done by the participants, but it defines the tools that are used, and the environment where these tools are used. Being a 'world' for me describes 'being a social environment where more than one type of interaction can occur between more than one type of participant (human or non-human) in any given time through as many communication channels as possible". Being a 'world' is not something that a website or a 3D virtual environment inherently has, but it is its users who (re-)define, (re-)shape and construct the virtual spaces into 'places' by interacting in/with it. By using 'virtual' tools and environments, users create virtual 'worlds' for themselves; and they can resist, protest, redefine uses, and finally, migrate to other media if their demands for participation are not met. In this respect, I also like Bartle's (2004) definition of virtual worlds as 'places' where people go to, do things in and go back home from. So, in any way, the use of “virtual” with socially made definition of “world” seems a bit problematic, since the “world” itself is in a way “virtual”. ‘ Bartle, R.A., 2004. Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. California. 2. To me, a virtual environment does not necessarily imply the ‘worldness’ aspect, because any simulated 3D virtual space (including models created in 3D Studio Max or AutoCAD) can simulate artificial environments for the viewer to get in, not depending on him/her being alone or in a social scene. However, in my understanding, virtual worlds are co-created by their users, as their social interaction and creativity enables them to make sense of the virtual environment together, and communicate/interact in it. With this perspective, it is also possible to question our definition of the “world” as we use it for defining the RL world. I imagine people would have significant disagreements (even among their own comments) about what “world” means, and what its fundamental components are (is the sky part of the “world”? where does the “world” end? ”? is there another “world”? Etc.) So, I think just as we, together, use these vague definitions to make sense of the “world” in RL, not so much differently than how Second Life residents collaboratively make sense of their virtual world. “Virtual community” sounds oxymoronic, because all communities are also in most ways “virtual”… And I try not to use the term “virtual reality” in my writings mainly for the same reason; oh yes, and because it irritatingly implies a former simulation technology..  3. 3D web, metaverse: because I like following buzz words to be able to keep myself informed about the ideas of creative people about the future Social virtual world, Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE), Multi-User Virtual/Visual Environment (MUVE): because they imply the “social” aspect of collaborative world building Synthetic world, virtual environments: because I believe if we are going to use the world “world” then we shouldn’t have to go with “virtual”; and if we want to go with “virtual”, then “environment” makes more sense as something that can actually be virtual (or simulated). 1. Although I imagine the construction of the ‘virtual’ going much more father back than digital techologies; for defining ‘virtual world’, I prefer to stay close to ‘persistent online and simulated virtual environments where participants share the virtual space in real time’.. As I am researching collaborative co-design activities of users in some of these virtual worlds, I am also personally interested in ‘being modified/shaped/formed/created by its participants’ and ‘allowing user-generated content’ as important issues that virtual worlds I’ll be focusing on should have. Being ‘virtual’ in this sense is not only about the participation experience, or the collaborative work done by the participants, but it defines the tools that are used, and the environment where these tools are used. Being a ‘world’ for me describes ‘being a social environment where more than one type of interaction can occur between more than one type of participant (human or non-human) in any given time through as many communication channels as possible”. Being a ‘world’ is not something that a website or a 3D virtual environment inherently has, but it is its users who (re-)define, (re-)shape and construct the virtual spaces into ‘places’ by interacting in/with it. By using ‘virtual’ tools and environments, users create virtual ‘worlds’ for themselves; and they can resist, protest, redefine uses, and finally, migrate to other media if their demands for participation are not met. In this respect, I also like Bartle’s (2004) definition of virtual worlds as ‘places’ where people go to, do things in and go back home from. So, in any way, the use of “virtual” with socially made definition of “world” seems a bit problematic, since the “world” itself is in a way “virtual”.
‘ Bartle, R.A., 2004. Designing Virtual Worlds. New Riders. California.

2. To me, a virtual environment does not necessarily imply the ‘worldness’ aspect, because any simulated 3D virtual space (including models created in 3D Studio Max or AutoCAD) can simulate artificial environments for the viewer to get in, not depending on him/her being alone or in a social scene. However, in my understanding, virtual worlds are co-created by their users, as their social interaction and creativity enables them to make sense of the virtual environment together, and communicate/interact in it. With this perspective, it is also possible to question our definition of the “world” as we use it for defining the RL world. I imagine people would have significant disagreements (even among their own comments) about what “world” means, and what its fundamental components are (is the sky part of the “world”? where does the “world” end? ”? is there another “world”? Etc.) So, I think just as we, together, use these vague definitions to make sense of the “world” in RL, not so much differently than how Second Life residents collaboratively make sense of their virtual world.
“Virtual community” sounds oxymoronic, because all communities are also in most ways “virtual”…
And I try not to use the term “virtual reality” in my writings mainly for the same reason; oh yes, and because it irritatingly implies a former simulation technology.. 

3.

3D web, metaverse: because I like following buzz words to be able to keep myself informed about the ideas of creative people about the future

Social virtual world, Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE), Multi-User Virtual/Visual Environment (MUVE): because they imply the “social” aspect of collaborative world building

Synthetic world, virtual environments: because I believe if we are going to use the world “world” then we shouldn’t have to go with “virtual”; and if we want to go with “virtual”, then “environment” makes more sense as something that can actually be virtual (or simulated).

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By: Yesha Sivan http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2665 Yesha Sivan Wed, 19 May 2010 10:48:57 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2665 The idea of a definition for any field is important. I confess that indeed this was my first goal when I delved deeply into the matter of virtual worlds four years ago. I came up with the 3D3C definition (which was covered in an earlier comment) and covered in few papers elsewhere. Today I feel good about this definition. Perhaps one thing missing is augmentation... which connects the virtual worlds and the real worlds. I also want to caution over discussion of this definition. At some point each will have to make a decisions. I will give an example. Is Facebook a virtual world? well it is for some, but once you select the a definition (say 3D3C) you are able to decide if Facebook is included or not. I also want to mention that the 3D3C definition is designed to be operational not just mere lexical. It guides me to what SHOULD be done and not necessarily what is the current state of the art. Looking forward for the workshop. The idea of a definition for any field is important. I confess that indeed this was my first goal when I delved deeply into the matter of virtual worlds four years ago.
I came up with the 3D3C definition (which was covered in an earlier comment) and covered in few papers elsewhere.

Today I feel good about this definition. Perhaps one thing missing is augmentation… which connects the virtual worlds and the real worlds.

I also want to caution over discussion of this definition. At some point each will have to make a decisions.
I will give an example. Is Facebook a virtual world? well it is for some, but once you select the a definition (say 3D3C) you are able to decide if
Facebook is included or not.

I also want to mention that the 3D3C definition is designed to be operational not just mere lexical. It guides me to what SHOULD be done and not necessarily what is the current state of the art.

Looking forward for the workshop.

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By: Join the discussion “What is a virtual world?” http://worlds.ruc.dk/events/workshop/dialogue-round-1/comment-page-1#comment-2653 Join the discussion “What is a virtual world?” Tue, 18 May 2010 20:52:00 +0000 http://worlds.ruc.dk/?page_id=2432#comment-2653 [...] information on the discussion can be found here. Tagged with: defining virtual world • roskilde • workshop  0 Comments Leave [...] [...] information on the discussion can be found here. Tagged with: defining virtual world • roskilde • workshop  0 Comments Leave [...]

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