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Introduction to virtual worlds

Introduction to virtual worlds



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Published by Artesia
An overview of different types of virtual worlds, featuring examples and recommendations on how companies can take advantage of virtual worlds to improve their external and internal business processes.
An overview of different types of virtual worlds, featuring examples and recommendations on how companies can take advantage of virtual worlds to improve their external and internal business processes.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Artesia on Sep 07, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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(c) Artesia ltd., 2008
Introduction to virtual worlds
Artesia whitepaper, September 2008
Examples of Second Life avatarsTraining of emergency personnel inFortrerra OLIVE 
Business impact of virtual worlds
"Public virtual worlds, which are suffering from disillusionment after their peak of hype in 2007, will in the long term represent an important media channel to support and build broader communities of interest." 
-- “Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, 2008”,Gartner Research,August 2008
Virtual worlds are computer simulated environments thatare inhabited by multiple users in form of customizableavatars (graphical representations), who can interactwith the simulated textual or graphical environment andother users. Virtual worlds are often seen just as 3Dmultiplayer games or chat rooms, but are in fact also anincreasingly powerful education and business tool. Thesense of immersion and the depth of connection to othervirtual world users make them perfect for such diverseactivities as training medical, emergency and militarypersonnel, hiring employees, distance learning and world-wide collaboration.The number of personal and enterprise virtual world usersgrows daily, with over 300 million users world-wide in2008. Analytics forecast2 to five years for mass marketadoptionand1 billion users in 2017, and new virtual worlds are constantly being developed.This whitepaper will introduce you to different types of virtual worlds, provide examples and recommend steps tohelp you and your company use virtual worlds to improveyour external and internal business processes and get intouch with your target users.
(c) Artesia 2008
Artesia whitepaper 
Page 2/9
“Within five years, the 3-D Internet will be asimportant for work as the Web is today. Information and knowledge management professionals should begin toinvestigate and experiment with virtual worlds.” * 
*Source: Getting Real Work Done In Virtual Worlds, Forrester Research, January 2008
(c) Artesia 2008
Artesia whitepaper 
Page 3/9
Club Penguin is a virtual world for kids aged 6 - 14that has over 700 000 paying subscribers and was boughtby Disney for 700 million USD
Google Lively Club Penguin
Virtual worlds types
Virtual world developers combine a variety of tools andapproaches to create engaging virtual environments. Forexample, all virtual worlds allow users to communicatewith each other (usually through text, but voice isbecoming common too) and users can usually presentthemselves through profiles that often featureinformation about a user’s reputation within the virtualworld.However, not all virtual worlds enable players toown and manage their own virtual land, although many includevirtual goods that players can buy or sell with an in-worldvirtual currency. A few worlds allow users to create theirown content, while most focus on providing a limited setof professionally developed content for users to consume.Another distinction among virtual world is that they canbe modeled to resemble the real world or made to looklike imaginary non-existing worlds.Therefore it is no surprise that there are many differenttypes of virtual worlds on the market that serve adifferent purpose and are made to appeal to differenttypes of users. These are some of the basic types of virtual worlds based on their main purpose:
Social virtual worlds
focus on enabling conversationamong users and are often compared to 3Dchatroooms. They often include virtual goods thatusers can buy, and some enable users to create andcustomize their own virtual rooms or spaces.
Examples:Kaneva,There,Lively ,Vivaty ,IMVU .
Casual gaming virtual worlds
are very similar tosocial virtual worlds with the difference that theyalso focus on users playing smaller, casual gameswithin the virtual world.
Examples:Club Penguin,Habbo,Neopets,Dizzyworld .

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