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Kosmos
Astronomia Astrofizyka
Inne

Kultura
Sztuka dawna i współczesna, muzea i kolekcje

Metoda
Metodologia nauk, Matematyka, Filozofia, Miary i wagi, Pomiary

Materia
Substancje, reakcje, energia
Fizyka, chemia i inżynieria materiałowa

Człowiek
Antropologia kulturowa Socjologia Psychologia Zdrowie i medycyna

Wizje
Przewidywania Kosmologia Religie Ideologia Polityka

Ziemia
Geologia, geofizyka, geochemia, środowisko przyrodnicze

Życie
Biologia, biologia molekularna i genetyka

Cyberprzestrzeń
Technologia cyberprzestrzeni, cyberkultura, media i komunikacja

Działalność
Wiadomości | Gospodarka, biznes, zarządzanie, ekonomia

Technologie
Budownictwo, energetyka, transport, wytwarzanie, technologie informacyjne

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research

The third thematic issue of JVWR 7th year (2014) focuses on a literature review of 3D3C worlds according to specific topics. Due to the substantial amount of responses to our “Lantern” CfP which resulted in 15 accepted manuscripts, the Lantern issue is published in two parts: Part 1 was published on the 1st quarter of 2014 and part 2 is now published, on the 3rd quarter of 2014.  Both parts connect with our workshop “Via the Looking Glass” held in Milan, Italy on December 15, 2013 (as part of AIS ICIS 2013).

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7116 2014/08/01 - 04:52

Despite the growing prevalence of distributed work as an organizational form, the virtual world literature has largely neglected to consider the potentials of this new media in distributed collaboration. In the present study, we studied how virtual worlds (VWs) are used in professional distributed work and how they influence new forms of collaboration in distributed work settings. The study is based on a partially grounded theory analysis method of 47 semi-structured interviews. The interviews revealed several new collaboration potentials of virtual worlds in distributed work, like new forms of training and learning, as well as enabling small group meetings and large events. Based on the interview findings we developed a conceptual model in which psychological processes supported by the VW enable distributed collaboration in terms of immersion, engagement, social presence, and trust. Furthermore, technological features of the VW, like the use of avatars, import of 3D objects, and use of physical clues, enable distributed collaboration. The psychological processes and technological features’ new forms of collaboration are largely interdependent. In sum, our results indicate that virtual worlds provide many opportunities for innovative collaboration in distributed work.

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6158 2014/08/01 - 04:52

The exponential growth of the micropayments industry and the expansion of social networks in the last few years have produced the necessary conditions for the birth and growing importance of a distinct object that is fairly new to many disciplines: virtual currencies. The present work is a pioneering study in this field, in which we attempt to survey the main issues and challenges posed to Economic Theory and to the design and implementation of economic policy. Particularly, we are interested in the implications that virtual currencies may have for: 1) The economic principles associated with voluntary holdings of different kinds of money; 2) The rate-of-return dominance by some currencies that may coexist with currencies offering lower real returns; and 3) The state-of-the-art Monetary Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models with micro-foundations. We believe that virtual currencies share some important features of both fiat currencies—whose value is mainly determined by the issuer’s reputation and the people’s beliefs regarding its future acceptability in exchange for goods or services—and commodity currencies, with intrinsic value. However, virtual currencies are typically issued by private agents, rather than by governments, and thus regulation and appropriate monitoring arise as potential problems that we may have to deal with in the near future.

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7064 2014/08/01 - 04:52

Computer-supported online 3-D virtual world environments have been waxed and waned in interest and representativeness for supporting collaborative- and simulation-based practices. In a post-modern societal framework that requires inexpensive solutions for high-risk situations, research efforts in virtual worlds have developed a basis for understanding the use of virtual reality for multidisciplinary scenarios such as distance learning, training, therapy treatments, and social interaction. Complex relationships can be established simultaneously between several students functioning as integrated learning units using different media, and interacting with their physical environment in the context of real-world settings. In this sense, a recurrently updated research agenda for virtual worlds can characterize the current needs at a systematic way. This paper presents a meta-analysis of 35 publications to identify gaps and opportunities for research in collaborative three-dimensional environments based on content analysis. At a general perspective, there is a lack of established approaches to measure the influence and research potential of sociocultural factors in virtual worlds’ usage, autism spectrum and other healthcare-related settings, learning outcomes, content characteristics, task support for groups and crowds, and online data collection.

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7036 2014/08/01 - 04:52

We analyse works of digital art that use a technique from artificial life (ALife) called computational ecosystems (CEs). These are systems running on computers where agents are organized in a hierarchical structure (of a food-chain) and trade token units (of energy and biomass) as a way of promoting community dynamics. We analyse a collection of forty (40) papers communicating works developed in the last two decades. We classify each of these works according to an adapted taxonomy. We then produce a study of cumulative analysis to outline patterns and common features which might define the field. We conclude on the diversity and heterogeneity of the practice, to assert CEs as a multimedia generative tool useful in the construction of bio-mimicking ecosystems as well as in the animation of non-player characters (NPCs) with human-like behaviors in virtual words.

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7051 2014/08/01 - 04:52

This article addresses the potential of virtual worlds as a platform for creative team collaboration. The proliferation of geographically distributed teams, striving towards innovative results, calls for ICT that support team creativity. Three-dimensional virtual worlds represent such an emergent and rapidly developing collaboration tool. A systematic literature review was conducted to reveal the affordances of virtual worlds contributing towards team creativity.The results of the literature review reveal eight proposed affordances relevant for virtual worlds to foster team level creativity. Avatars (1) allow the team members to express themselves and their insights and point out information to others. Changing the users’ frame of reference (2) embraces the virtual world’s potential as a context for creative action. Perceived feeling of co-presence (3) within the team members, and user’s own experience of immersion (4), contributes towards engaging creative team collaboration. Multimodality (5) and rich visual information (6) facilitate communication between team members. Finally, virtual worlds allow teams to modify the collaboration environment to simulate a new kind of reality (7), and offer a selection of supporting tools (8) that can be utilized in the creative collaboration.Departures for further research efforts and insights for practitioners engaged in virtual world collaboration are presented.

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7062 2014/08/01 - 04:52

With the advent of social media technologies, debate continues to swirl around the ability of these technologies to either connect or isolate. Healthcare support communities represent an especially vulnerable population who can potentially gain most significantly from the ability to connect via online social support groups. This paper reviews current literature on the efficacy of online social support groups, with a particular interest in 3-D online social virtual worlds. The literature reveals the importance of social support in general; of finding support online in these mediated environments; and the strengths and weaknesses in the current technologies that offer virtual healthcare support groups. Characteristics of social virtual worlds including persistence, anonymity, 24/7 access to individuals globally, and virtual embodiment reveal powerful potential to build support online. For example, individuals with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness may not have physical or social resources necessary to get to face-to-face support groups yet the literature also finds that they may find meaningful support in avatar form.Finally, the literature also frequently cites the growing need for a clear understanding of user privacy, informed consent, intellectual property and ethics in research in this arena. As cost and access to healthcare and social support may become more challenging, access to support online is becoming more mainstream with tremendous opportunity, especially for individuals whose lives are limited by chronic illness or disability.

https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7068 2014/08/01 - 04:52

The third thematic issue of JVWR 7th year (2014) focuses on a literature review of 3D3C worlds according to specific topics. Due to the substantial amount of responses to our “Lantern” CfP which resulted in 15 accepted manuscripts, the Lantern issue is published in two parts: Part 1 was published on the 1st quarter of 2014 and part 2 is now published, on the 3rd quarter of 2014.  Both parts connect with our workshop “Via the Looking Glass” held in Milan, Italy on December 15, 2013 (as part of AIS ICIS 2013).

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7116 2014/07/26 - 08:52

Despite the growing prevalence of distributed work as an organizational form, the virtual world literature has largely neglected to consider the potentials of this new media in distributed collaboration. In the present study, we studied how virtual worlds (VWs) are used in professional distributed work and how they influence new forms of collaboration in distributed work settings. The study is based on a partially grounded theory analysis method of 47 semi-structured interviews. The interviews revealed several new collaboration potentials of virtual worlds in distributed work, like new forms of training and learning, as well as enabling small group meetings and large events. Based on the interview findings we developed a conceptual model in which psychological processes supported by the VW enable distributed collaboration in terms of immersion, engagement, social presence, and trust. Furthermore, technological features of the VW, like the use of avatars, import of 3D objects, and use of physical clues, enable distributed collaboration. The psychological processes and technological features’ new forms of collaboration are largely interdependent. In sum, our results indicate that virtual worlds provide many opportunities for innovative collaboration in distributed work.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6158 2014/07/26 - 08:52

The exponential growth of the micropayments industry and the expansion of social networks in the last few years have produced the necessary conditions for the birth and growing importance of a distinct object that is fairly new to many disciplines: virtual currencies. The present work is a pioneering study in this field, in which we attempt to survey the main issues and challenges posed to Economic Theory and to the design and implementation of economic policy. Particularly, we are interested in the implications that virtual currencies may have for: 1) The economic principles associated with voluntary holdings of different kinds of money; 2) The rate-of-return dominance by some currencies that may coexist with currencies offering lower real returns; and 3) The state-of-the-art Monetary Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium models with micro-foundations. We believe that virtual currencies share some important features of both fiat currencies—whose value is mainly determined by the issuer’s reputation and the people’s beliefs regarding its future acceptability in exchange for goods or services—and commodity currencies, with intrinsic value. However, virtual currencies are typically issued by private agents, rather than by governments, and thus regulation and appropriate monitoring arise as potential problems that we may have to deal with in the near future.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7064 2014/07/26 - 08:52

Computer-supported online 3-D virtual world environments have been waxed and waned in interest and representativeness for supporting collaborative- and simulation-based practices. In a post-modern societal framework that requires inexpensive solutions for high-risk situations, research efforts in virtual worlds have developed a basis for understanding the use of virtual reality for multidisciplinary scenarios such as distance learning, training, therapy treatments, and social interaction. Complex relationships can be established simultaneously between several students functioning as integrated learning units using different media, and interacting with their physical environment in the context of real-world settings. In this sense, a recurrently updated research agenda for virtual worlds can characterize the current needs at a systematic way. This paper presents a meta-analysis of 35 publications to identify gaps and opportunities for research in collaborative three-dimensional environments based on content analysis. At a general perspective, there is a lack of established approaches to measure the influence and research potential of sociocultural factors in virtual worlds’ usage, autism spectrum and other healthcare-related settings, learning outcomes, content characteristics, task support for groups and crowds, and online data collection.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7036 2014/07/26 - 08:52

We analyse works of digital art that use a technique from artificial life (ALife) called computational ecosystems (CEs). These are systems running on computers where agents are organized in a hierarchical structure (of a food-chain) and trade token units (of energy and biomass) as a way of promoting community dynamics. We analyse a collection of forty (40) papers communicating works developed in the last two decades. We classify each of these works according to an adapted taxonomy. We then produce a study of cumulative analysis to outline patterns and common features which might define the field. We conclude on the diversity and heterogeneity of the practice, to assert CEs as a multimedia generative tool useful in the construction of bio-mimicking ecosystems as well as in the animation of non-player characters (NPCs) with human-like behaviors in virtual words.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7051 2014/07/26 - 08:52

We analyse works of digital art that use a technique from artificial life (ALife) called computational ecosystems (CEs). These are systems running on computers where agents are organized in a hierarchical structure (of a food-chain) and trade token units (of energy and biomass) as a way of promoting community dynamics. We analyse a collection of forty (40) papers communicating works developed in the last two decades. We classify each of these works according to an adapted taxonomy. We then produce a study of cumulative analysis to outline patterns and common features which might define the field. We conclude on the diversity and heterogeneity of the practice, to assert CEs as a multimedia generative tool useful in the construction of bio-mimicking ecosystems as well as in the animation of non-player characters (NPCs) with human-like behaviors in virtual words.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7051 2014/07/26 - 08:52

This article addresses the potential of virtual worlds as a platform for creative team collaboration. The proliferation of geographically distributed teams, striving towards innovative results, calls for ICT that support team creativity. Three-dimensional virtual worlds represent such an emergent and rapidly developing collaboration tool. A systematic literature review was conducted to reveal the affordances of virtual worlds contributing towards team creativity.The results of the literature review reveal eight proposed affordances relevant for virtual worlds to foster team level creativity. Avatars (1) allow the team members to express themselves and their insights and point out information to others. Changing the users’ frame of reference (2) embraces the virtual world’s potential as a context for creative action. Perceived feeling of co-presence (3) within the team members, and user’s own experience of immersion (4), contributes towards engaging creative team collaboration. Multimodality (5) and rich visual information (6) facilitate communication between team members. Finally, virtual worlds allow teams to modify the collaboration environment to simulate a new kind of reality (7), and offer a selection of supporting tools (8) that can be utilized in the creative collaboration.Departures for further research efforts and insights for practitioners engaged in virtual world collaboration are presented.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7062 2014/07/26 - 08:52

This article addresses the potential of virtual worlds as a platform for creative team collaboration. The proliferation of geographically distributed teams, striving towards innovative results, calls for ICT that support team creativity. Three-dimensional virtual worlds represent such an emergent and rapidly developing collaboration tool. A systematic literature review was conducted to reveal the affordances of virtual worlds contributing towards team creativity.The results of the literature review reveal eight proposed affordances relevant for virtual worlds to foster team level creativity. Avatars (1) allow the team members to express themselves and their insights and point out information to others. Changing the users’ frame of reference (2) embraces the virtual world’s potential as a context for creative action. Perceived feeling of co-presence (3) within the team members, and user’s own experience of immersion (4), contributes towards engaging creative team collaboration. Multimodality (5) and rich visual information (6) facilitate communication between team members. Finally, virtual worlds allow teams to modify the collaboration environment to simulate a new kind of reality (7), and offer a selection of supporting tools (8) that can be utilized in the creative collaboration.Departures for further research efforts and insights for practitioners engaged in virtual world collaboration are presented.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7062 2014/07/26 - 08:52

With the advent of social media technologies, debate continues to swirl around the ability of these technologies to either connect or isolate. Healthcare support communities represent an especially vulnerable population who can potentially gain most significantly from the ability to connect via online social support groups. This paper reviews current literature on the efficacy of online social support groups, with a particular interest in 3-D online social virtual worlds. The literature reveals the importance of social support in general; of finding support online in these mediated environments; and the strengths and weaknesses in the current technologies that offer virtual healthcare support groups. Characteristics of social virtual worlds including persistence, anonymity, 24/7 access to individuals globally, and virtual embodiment reveal powerful potential to build support online. For example, individuals with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness may not have physical or social resources necessary to get to face-to-face support groups yet the literature also finds that they may find meaningful support in avatar form.Finally, the literature also frequently cites the growing need for a clear understanding of user privacy, informed consent, intellectual property and ethics in research in this arena. As cost and access to healthcare and social support may become more challenging, access to support online is becoming more mainstream with tremendous opportunity, especially for individuals whose lives are limited by chronic illness or disability.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7068 2014/07/26 - 08:52

With the advent of social media technologies, debate continues to swirl around the ability of these technologies to either connect or isolate. Healthcare support communities represent an especially vulnerable population who can potentially gain most significantly from the ability to connect via online social support groups. This paper reviews current literature on the efficacy of online social support groups, with a particular interest in 3-D online social virtual worlds. The literature reveals the importance of social support in general; of finding support online in these mediated environments; and the strengths and weaknesses in the current technologies that offer virtual healthcare support groups. Characteristics of social virtual worlds including persistence, anonymity, 24/7 access to individuals globally, and virtual embodiment reveal powerful potential to build support online. For example, individuals with disabilities, chronic illness, or mental illness may not have physical or social resources necessary to get to face-to-face support groups yet the literature also finds that they may find meaningful support in avatar form.Finally, the literature also frequently cites the growing need for a clear understanding of user privacy, informed consent, intellectual property and ethics in research in this arena. As cost and access to healthcare and social support may become more challenging, access to support online is becoming more mainstream with tremendous opportunity, especially for individuals whose lives are limited by chronic illness or disability.

https://jvwr-ojs-utexas.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7068 2014/07/26 - 08:52

Welcome to the first issue of 2013 which opens our sixth year.Each year, JVWR publishes about 3 issues. Of them, two are topical and one Assembled. The topical issues allow us to plan ahead, define the topics, enlist editors, and allow authors ample time to develop their work.Concurrently, we encourage authors to send us updated research outcomes outside the scope of the topical issues. As we complete a review on such a paper, we publish the paper under the “rush to press” section of a topical issue. Around December of every year, we collect all the papers that were submitted during the year and consider them for the yearly assembled issue.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7058 2013/04/29 - 21:35

This project examines whether or not learners feel less foreign language anxiety (FLA) in an online multiuser 3D virtual world simulation than in the real world classroom. Previous research has shown FLA to have negative effects on learner performance and learning outcomes. Research into learning in virtual worlds has indicated that performance anxiety may be lessened in these environments, however, the use of such virtual environments also places demands on the learner to develop a range of technical skills to facilitate interaction. The project examines whether or not learners feel less FLA in an online multiuser 3D virtual world simulation than in the real world classroom and also attempts to establish what impacts these demands have on learner performance and FLA. This work-in-progress paper, on the basis of preliminary analysis, has found 1) there are multiple sources of FLA in both classroom and virtual environments; 2) students found the virtual environment less stressful in terms of language use and 3) there was not a significant inherent level of technical related anxiety.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7027 2013/04/29 - 21:35

For several years, the authors have maintained a simulation (sim) in Second LifeTM, with management responsibility for allocating sim resources across research and instructional projects, some of which involved working with residents. Although not originally anticipated to be a research site in management theory and practice, the project presented an unexpected pattern of difficulty and an unexpectedly rich case study to examine why and how the virtual environment generated norms of power and empowerment for which traditional management practice was not effective. We conducted a theoretical thematic analysis on a body of conversation transcripts, meeting agendas and minutes, email messages and other administrative documents, applying concepts from the literature on presence, copresence, embodiment and social capital, seeking to identify the sociocultural context and structural conditions that shaped meanings and experiences of participants in this project. This exploratory analysis suggests a need for development of management theory and practice based on norms of empowerment shaped by designer-user role hybridization – in short, vManagement.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6322 2013/04/29 - 21:35

Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the UK, with around 20% of children aged 10-11 being overweight or obese. Lifestyle interventions can be effective, but there is limited evidence of their effectiveness in delivering sustained weight loss. The present research explored potential of web-based, 3-dimensional virtual worlds (VWs) for facilitation of weight-management, well-being and patient and public involvement (PPI) for young people. Attendees of a weight management camp took part in induction sessions for use of the VW of Second Life. All participants successfully learned how to interact with one another and navigate the virtual environment. Participant appraisals of Second Life were varied. Some found it complicated and difficult to use, and some found it fun and the majority stated that they would choose to use VWs again. There is considerable potential for use of VWs to promote weight management, and Second Life or a similar VW could be used to deliver this. Potential barriers include members of the target sample having limited access to computers with necessary system requirements for running VWs, and that some may find VW-based educational experiences unappealing or challenging to navigate. For some however, VWs may provide a useful mode for provision of education, PPI and support relating to weight management.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7026 2013/04/29 - 21:35

Second Life (SL) is a virtual world application that enables users to create virtual representations of themselves and interact with other users. SL is increasingly being used to study important psychological questions. The current project sought to replicate within SL Asch’s (1951) classic finding of group influence, in which participants often respond in accordance with choices expressed by other members of a group, regardless of the accuracy of those choices. Participants were given a series of perceptual judgment trials, in which they chose one of three stimulus alternatives that matched the length of a target stimulus. Participants were tested either alone or with three other confederate avatars whose choices were predetermined by the experimenter. On two of the trials, confederate avatars unanimously chose incorrectly before the actual participant made their choice. Results showed that on these trials participants were significantly more likely to choose in accord with the confederate’s choices, relative to participants tested as single avatars. The results generally support earlier research on group influence and extend these findings to a virtual world environment.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7002 2013/04/29 - 21:35

To better understand the technological requirements of academic institutions looking to implement an OpenSimulator virtual world grid, an observational study was performed to better understand the solution requirements. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an analysis of the parameters and considerations utilized to architect a scalable, open-source virtual world grid for use in various academic delivery scenarios. This specific case focuses on the detail leading up to deployment of the solution, and includes a discussion regarding solution selection and incorporation of various virtualization technologies to maximize institutional hardware resources based on established functional need. The computing resources utilized for this case were allocated via a virtualized infrastructure. Discussion and results include presentation of a proposed layered model outlining the solution elements and their relationships as well as various approaches to structuring and organizing in-world content and activity.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7043 2013/04/29 - 21:35

Traditional approaches to virtual archaeology include dealing with research methods to capture information from heritage sites, creating models out of that information and how to present them to the public; these are intense technical procedures which might be too costly for some types of history or heritage-based projects. Virtual worlds allowed new types of models of/for heritage sites to be produced and disseminated at a fraction of the cost.Second Life®, and its open source counterpart, OpenSimulator, are virtual world platforms with user-generated content. 3D models are created in real time and instantly rendered for all visitors. This allows amateurs and researchers create their own virtual archaeology projects easily and with few costs, and to have the resulting models immediately available to a vast community of users. This article presents an overview of four different approaches to virtual archaeology projects that are present in these platforms and that have been publicly discussed and analyzed; in particular, the last type shows a novel approach to virtual archaeology which is not found in other platforms, and explains how researchers have managed to extend the concept to new areas and develop methodologies to incorporate the validation of historical accuracy to encompass these areas.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7047 2013/04/29 - 21:35

The last issue of 2012 includes three papers on the topic of “Managerial and Commercial Applications”, two “Assembled” papers and one “Think Piece”. Gearing up for another year at JVWR and Happy New Year wishes to all.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/7031 2012/12/29 - 20:51

Virtual worlds (VWs) are powerful three-dimensional technologies where users can assume identities and interact with others. While designed as open-platforms for creativity, expression, and experimentation by recreational users, VWs were once lauded for their potential applications to business. Today, much of the business community has either moved on from the hype of VWs or struggles to understand whether value can be obtained by using VWs. This paper attempts to provide an understanding of these outcomes through the analysis of assessments written by 59 business professionals, who each spent an extended period of time in a popular VW during the peak of the hype. From these assessments, four broad perspectives on the value of VWs to organizations (or lack thereof) were identified, along with challenges facing use of VWs if they are to become more widely used within business.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6324 2012/12/29 - 20:51

Many organizations have adopted virtual worlds (VWs) as a setting for training programs; however, research on appropriate evaluation of training in this new setting is incomplete. In this article, we address this gap by first exploring the unique issues relevant to evaluation faced by training designers working in VWs. At the macro-organizational level, the primary issue faced is an organizational culture unreceptive to or otherwise skeptical of VWs. At the micro-organizational level, two major issues are identified: individual trainees unreceptive to VWs and general lack of experience navigating VWs. All three of these challenges and their interrelationships may lead to poor reactions, learning, and transfer from VW-based training despite strong, pedagogically sound training design. Second, we survey the training evaluation research literature, identifying the most well-supported training evaluation models, discussing the suitability of each for evaluating VW-based training. Third, we propose a new integrative model based upon this literature, incorporating solutions to the unique issues faced in VWs with the most relevant portions of the models discussed earlier. Fourth, broad thematic implications of this model are identified and applied to prior VW literature. Finally, we provide specific recommendations to practitioners and researchers to evaluate their VW-based training fully.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6335 2012/12/29 - 20:51

This research examines the influence of identification with an avatar on immersion in a 3D commercial website and its subsequent effect on satisfaction with the website. It also focuses on the potential moderating role of gender in these relationships. Two studies were conducted. The first study comprised 286 students and collected both quantitative and qualitative data on the visit to the website; the second, longitudinal study consisted of 32 participants who visited the website additional times during a two-month period. The results show that during the first visit, (1) gender influenced the creation of the avatar, (2) identification with the avatar strongly influenced immersion and satisfaction, and (3) gender moderated the identification–immersion relationship. The longitudinal results reveal the dynamics of avatar personalization over time and show that gender influence is not significant over time anymore. Implications of these results for managers and academics conclude the study.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6321 2012/12/29 - 20:51

The purpose of this study was to examine the nature of relationship satisfaction and its predictors for those who simultaneously maintain committed relationships, in both real life (RL) and in an immersive virtual world, with either the same or a different partner. All 236 self-selected study participants were recruited on the virtual, multiplayer, online game and social platform of Second Life (SL), screened to insure that they had a committed relationship with both an avatar and a RL partner, and then asked to respond to an online survey about these relationships, and how satisfying they were. The results showed that (1) virtual committed relationships with a partner other than one’s RL partner were extremely prevalent (81.7%), (2) both males and females were highly satisfied with their virtual intimate relationships, (3) no RL relationship was found to be significantly more satisfying than any SL relationship in any statistical analysis conducted, (4) females tended to define their SL relationships as being significantly more satisfying than their RL relationships, (5) males tended to define their SL and RL relationships as equally satisfying, and (6) that those older in RL tended to be more satisfied with their virtual relationship than those who were younger. These results were interpreted in terms of their implications for culture, RL relationships and RL marriage.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6296 2012/12/29 - 20:51

This study examined how avatars influence operators in stereotype-consistent ways. Participants controlled formally or glamorously dressed avatars, and then created stories. Half of the participants heard a comment about the likely role of the avatar based on its looks (e.g., professor, supermodel). An automated linguistic analysis uncovered that participants using formally dressed avatars referred more to education, books, and numbers. Conversely, participants using glamorously dressed avatars used more words related to sports, entertainment, clothes, and beauty. Also, glamorously dressed avatars with a supermodel role elicited brands, exotic names, and age concerns, but the same avatar with no role stimulated descriptions of people and locations. The findings fit the assumptions of priming models and illustrate the additive effects of avatar appearance and role on users’ cognition.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6280 2012/12/29 - 20:51

This research-in-brief compares – based on documentation and web sites information -- findings of three different facial emotion extraction methods and puts forward possibilities of implementing the methods to Second Life. The motivation for the research stemmed from a literature review which indicated that current virtual communication tools did not satisfy users. The review showed that people preferred real-life like communication in virtual environments due to higher immersion and better user experience. Research revealed three methods used to create avatar facial expressiveness using facial emotion extraction. The three methods found were:

  1. Extracting emotion through user texts to apply to avatar facial features in real-time
  2. Using Microsoft’s Kinect technology to capture user facial motion to apply to the avatars’ in real-time
  3. Extracting emotion through video capture of user’s facial expressions via webcam in real-time.

This research analyzed the three methods in terms of implementation, integration and feasibility in Second Life.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6270 2012/12/29 - 20:51

East vs. West? More like East and West. There is a lot the West and the East can learn from each other. Virtual worlds are perhaps one of the best examples. China, Korea and Japan all present different approaches to virtual life. Technical and social norms reshape each other. These unique Asian perspectives about virtual worlds were the seed for this issue.The second part of this note list the next JVWR issues and events.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6915 2012/11/06 - 09:24

When highlighting patterns of usage of virtual worlds, the mass media tends to draw generalizations from anecdotal extremes of the neglect of families and acts of gang-related or self-inflicted violence; other generalizations are drawn about the outsourcing of the acquisition of in-game resources. We argue that understandings of virtual worlds from Asian perspectives must be broader than these naîve generalizations.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6918 2012/11/06 - 09:24

Virtual worlds and 'the Internet' in general are highly popular in the People's Republic of China. This article will argue, though, that in contrast to non-Chinese perceptions of virtual worlds and the Internet, Chinese users tend to see virtual worlds as wholly separate from their offline existence and identity.Based on the authors research experience with the Chinese Internet, and his years of teaching Chinese students in the 3D online world Second Life, the paper will demonstrate that Chinese usage frames virtual worlds (and the Internet in general) as spaces, in which it is permissible to rebel against authority, where users receive validation and approval from their peers, and where they can escape their often stressful and boring lives. The low costs involved, and the high entertainment value of virtual worlds, combined with a perception of virtual worlds as 'gaming', 'consequence-less' and 'not serious' spaces, contributes to the high attractiveness of virtual worlds to young Chinese, which has led to a moral panic in society about the dangers of Internet or gaming 'addiction'.The article will conclude that this framing of virtual worlds is so strong in China, in particular among young Chinese, that any attempt to utilize virtual worlds for other purposes, e.g. marketing, education, etc. will have to carefully re-frame and re-situate virtual worlds for Chinese Internet users.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6206 2012/11/06 - 09:24

Nuanced knowledge of who plays and how is necessary for a meaningful understanding of behaviors in the virtual world (e.g. Williams et al., 2008). Despite increasing use of Massively Multiplayer Online games (MMO) in China, systematic investigation of the demographic distribution, play patterns and social experience of Chinese players is limited. Based on a large web survey of players of a large Chinese MMO (N = 18,819), this study examines the demographic distribution of Chinese MMO players and its influence on their play patterns and social experience. The results suggest that compared to male players, Chinese females engage in more text chat, are more likely to play with romantic partners and friends, perceive higher salience of social capital, but have a lower sense of community. Older players engage in less chat, adventure and competition activities, but have a stronger sense of community than younger players. Controlling for age and gender, Chinese players’ sense of community is positively predicted by their participation in guild activities and in-game chat. Implications of the findings are discussed with a focus on the potential cultural influence on virtual behaviors. (Aiming for the Asian Perspective issue)

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6282 2012/11/06 - 09:24

The Abyss Observatory is a museum of Earth System Science, Marine Life and Undersea Technology created in Second Life, currently supported by JAMSTEC as a test bed of remotely collaboration and 3D visualization to create new scientific value.First, Second Life is remarkable platform for remotely, interdisciplinary and international collaboration. Secondary, Second Life has also useful for not only visualization of each content but also visualization of relation between each content to conduct new findings. Such exhibits need to arrange relating contents under some story by not only language communication but also visual communication. For these purpose, we attempt to learn curating methods of Art museums. Third attempt of the Abyss is to create new scientific value by assimilation or synthesize of 3D model and real data. 3D model is incomplete but real data is also incomplete. For example, deep sea life samples are quickly changed its shape and color at one atmospheric pressure. On the other hand, photo and video are also limited on viewing angle and resolution. We are working on 3D modeling of Bolinopsis infundibulum” which can apply to taxonomic descriptions based on discerning observation of researcher’s eyes, and evaluating its scientific value now.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6304 2012/11/06 - 09:24

Many educational institutions make use of assessment schemes based on an ordered hierarchy of cognitive activity, where the judgments of educators on the learning progress of students are expressed using marks or grades. These have high face-validity because they appear to represent intuitively sound descriptions of learning development. The language found in many such assessment structures and their protocols reflects the hierarchy within a revised Bloom's Taxonomy where, in the cognitive domain, evaluation and synthesis is regarded as superior to analysis or application, which are themselves rewarded above memory or understanding. Virtual worlds provide an opportunity to explore new educational contexts for analyzing and measuring cognitive processes that support learning. The present research used the Second Life virtual world as a medium for remotely located students to communicate in the collaborative construction and programming of robots. Iterative tasks were used to explore several neo-Bloomian cognitive processes and knowledge dimensions. Analysis of 60 hours of video from classroom activity, transcribed data and in-world interaction suggests that the hierarchy of descriptors and associated ratings that are used within assessment schemes based on neo-Bloomian taxonomies may not accurately correspond to the 'higher order' cognitive ability development of students.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6283 2012/11/06 - 09:24

Using a large sample of Singaporean children and adolescents from primary and secondary schools, this study provides important results on changes in amount of time spent on gaming and violent content exposure, and the effects of such changes on academic performance, pathological gaming, aggressive cognitions and empathic attitudes.This study provided support for the hypothesis that excessive gaming was related to poorer academic performance and more pathological symptoms. For example, Stable-Hardcore students reported the lowest academic performance in both waves with a decreasing trend, and Stable-Casual students reported the highest academic performance. There was also a link between high violent game content exposure and greater approval of aggression as well as lower empathic attitudes. Students with constantly low violence exposure reported higher empathic attitudes, and lower acceptability of aggression. Implications of the study were discussed in relation to the treatment of excessive gaming.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6357 2012/11/06 - 09:24

Virtual worlds (VWs) are becoming a popular medium for meetings and collaborative problem solving efforts. However, complex VW communication tools and challenges in managing online social interactions are likely to complicate VW collaboration efforts. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to investigate the role of the facilitator when collaboration is conducted in a virtual environment. In order to conduct our study, we developed a questionnaire based on major issues in real world collaboration and interviewed 14 subject-matter experts. Participants were asked to identify what key differences facilitators perceive between virtual and real world collaboration. In response, participants provided many insights, such as the new interpersonal management challenges that arise from the absence of face-to-face communication. Participants also warned of the challenges associated with the introduction of more technology to the collaboration process. Further, they identified credibility and trust issues that arise due to facilitators’ avatar manipulation skills and avatar appearance. Suggestions for avoiding pitfalls and optimizing collaboration are provided.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/6225 2012/11/06 - 09:24

East vs. West? More like East and West. There is a lot the West and the East can learn from each other. Virtual worlds are perhaps one of the best examples. China, Korea and Japan all present different approaches to virtual life. Technical and social norms reshape each other. These unique Asian perspectives about virtual worlds were the seed for this issue.The second part of this note list the next JVWR issues and events.

http://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/article/view/6915 2012/09/28 - 04:32