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Virtual Laboratories and Virtual Worlds  [PDF]
Piet Hut
Physics , 2007, DOI: 10.1017/S1743921308016153
Abstract: Since we cannot put stars in a laboratory, astrophysicists had to wait till the invention of computers before becoming laboratory scientists. For half a century now, we have been conducting experiments in our virtual laboratories. However, we ourselves have remained behind the keyboard, with the screen of the monitor separating us from the world we are simulating. Recently, 3D on-line technology, developed first for games but now deployed in virtual worlds like Second Life, is beginning to make it possible for astrophysicists to enter their virtual labs themselves, in virtual form as avatars. This has several advantages, from new possibilities to explore the results of the simulations to a shared presence in a virtual lab with remote collaborators on different continents. I will report my experiences with the use of Qwaq Forums, a virtual world developed by a new company (see http://www.qwaq.com)
Corporate Training in Virtual Worlds
Charles Nebolsky,Nicholas K. Yee,Valery A. Petrushin,Anatole V. Gershman
Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics , 2004,
Abstract: This paper presents virtual training worlds that are relatively low-cost distributed collaborative learning environments suitable for corporate training. A virtual training world allows a facilitator, experts and trainees communicating and acting in the virtual environment for practicing skills during collaborative problem solving. Using these environments is beneficial to both trainees and corporations. Two system prototypes – the sales training and the leadership training virtual worlds – are described. The leadership training course design is discussed in details.
Building an ecological knowledge of virtual worlds  [PDF]
Pierre-Olivier Montiglio,Julien Céré
PeerJ , 2015, DOI: 10.7287/peerj.preprints.473v1
Abstract: Virtual worlds supporting massively multiplayer games have become so complex that they exhibit temporal and spatial dynamics mostly driven by interactions between players. In this respect, virtual worlds resemble closely natural ecosystems. Studying the ecology of virtual worlds is an outstanding opportunity for ecologists as well as the game industry to collaborate in order to test several aspects of ecological theory difficult to study in nature, and build manageable, resilient virtual worlds.
Verbal Interactions in Virtual Worlds  [PDF]
Pierre Nugues
Computer Science , 2000,
Abstract: We first discuss respective advantages of language interaction in virtual worlds and of using 3D images in dialogue systems. Then, we describe an example of a verbal interaction system in virtual reality: Ulysse. Ulysse is a conversational agent that helps a user navigate in virtual worlds. It has been designed to be embedded in the representation of a participant of a virtual conference and it responds positively to motion orders. Ulysse navigates the user's viewpoint on his/her behalf in the virtual world. On tests we carried out, we discovered that users, novices as well as experienced ones have difficulties moving in a 3D environment. Agents such as Ulysse enable a user to carry out navigation motions that would have been impossible with classical interaction devices. From the whole Ulysse system, we have stripped off a skeleton architecture that we have ported to VRML, Java, and Prolog. We hope this skeleton helps the design of language applications in virtual worlds.
Virtual Worlds for Student Engagement  [PDF]
Atul Sajjanhar
Creative Education (CE) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/ce.2012.326118
Abstract: In this paper, we study the scope of virtual worlds for student engagement in higher education. The motivation for the study is the gap in opportunities for interactivity that exist for off-campus students compared with on-campus students. A student taking a course at a university, while located in a different geographic location, has limited opportunity for student-student and student-teacher interaction; this effects student engagement significantly. We conduct a feasibility analysis for engaging students in a virtual world; Second Life is used as the test-bed to create the virtual world environment. We present preliminary findings, the promises and the limitations of Second Life as an immersive environment for engaging students.
Virtual worlds, fiction, and reality
Niiniluoto,Ilkka Maunu;
Discusiones Filosóficas , 2011,
Abstract: my aim in this paper is to raise and discuss some philosophical questions about virtual reality (vr). the most fundamental problem concerns the ontological nature of vr: is it real or fictional? is vr comparable to illusions, hallucinations, dreams, or worlds of fiction? are traditional philosophical categories at all sufficient to give us understanding of the phenomenon of vr? in approaching these questions, i shall employ possible world semantics and logical theories of perception and imagination as my philosophical tools. my main conclusion is that vr is comparable to a 3-d picture which can be seen from the inside.
Learning and teaching in Immersive Virtual Worlds  [cached]
Frances Bell,Maggi Savin-Baden,Robert Ward
Research in Learning Technology , 2008, DOI: 10.3402/rlt.v16i3.10892
Abstract: This special issue comprises a number of exciting initiatives and developments that begin to put issues of learning in immersive virtual worlds centre stage. Although learning through specific types of serious games has been popular for some years, the pedagogical value of immersive worlds is currently not only inchoate but also under-researched. Whilst several of the articles here are not based on empirical research, what they do offer is new ways of considering the pedagogical purposes of using these kinds of digital spaces. The difficulty with the perception of immersive virtual worlds is that there is often a sense that they are seen as being dislocated from physical spaces, and yet they are not. Web spaces are largely viewed as necessarily freer locations where there is a sense that it is both possible and desirable to ‘do things differently'.
Relativistic virtual worlds: an emerging framework  [PDF]
Bradly Alicea
Computer Science , 2011,
Abstract: In this paper, I will attempt to establish a framework for representation in virtual worlds that may allow for input data from many different scales and virtual physics to be merged. For example, a typical virtual environment must effectively handle user input, sensor data, and virtual world physics all in real- time. Merging all of these data into a single interactive system requires that we adapt approaches from topological methods such as n-dimensional relativistic representation. A number of hypothetical examples will be provided throughout the paper to clarify technical challenges that need to be overcome to realize this vision. The long-term goal of this work is that truly invariant representations will ultimately result from establishing formal, inclusive relationships between these different domains. Using this framework, incomplete information in one or more domains can be compensated for by parallelism and mappings within the virtual world representation. To introduce this approach, I will review recent developments in embodiment, virtual world technology, and neuroscience relevant to the control of virtual worlds. The next step will be to borrow ideas from fields such as brain science, applied mathematics, and cosmology to give proper perspective to this approach. A simple demonstration will then be given using an intuitive example of physical relativism. Finally, future directions for the application of this method will be considered.
Comparing Social Virtual Worlds for Educational Purposes
Education , 2011, DOI: 10.5923/j.edu.20110101.04
Abstract: Over the last decade the interest in social virtual worlds as tools to improve the teaching/learning process and to stimulate knowledge, including the development of learning to learn autonomy, has greatly increased as a result of their promising potential. In the current work we introduce a concise definition of a social virtual world and make a comparative analysis between different virtual worlds based on Mannien’s matrix. For this study, Second Life, Active Worlds and There were selected as they are the virtual environments most commonly addressed by the academic community. Finally, we discuss the potential of social virtual worlds for educational purposes.
Navigation Assistance in Virtual Worlds  [PDF]
Betsy van Dijk,Rieks op den Akker,Anton Nijholt,Job Zwiers
Informing Science The International Journal of an Emerging Transdiscipline , 2003,
Abstract: In this paper we report about ongoing research on navigation assistance in virtual environments. Our aim is to contribute to the development of forms of navigation assistance that enable non-professional visitors of a virtual environment to find their way without previous training. The environment used in this re-search is a virtual theatre that models a real world music theatre. This virtual theatre can be used for exploration as well as for transactions and goal-directed search for information. We first present some de-sign principles for navigation assistance in virtual environments and some design criteria for assistance by personal agents. Subsequently we describe how these principles and criteria have been implemented in our experimental virtual theatre environment. Finally we give an overview of future research plans.
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