Meeting in the Ether: A Brief History of Virtual Worlds as a Medium for User-Created Events

Bruce Damer

Abstract


Virtual worlds, shared graphical spaces on the Internet, are an exciting new medium of human presence for the twenty-first century. This article explores the origins, evolution, and future of the virtual world medium from their humble beginnings in multi-player games to their use in education, business, science, and engineering. Its focus will be on the development of social virtual worlds including environments such as Habitat, Active Worlds, and Second Life.

Keywords


avatars; multi-user; virtual worlds; 3D environments

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17493460903020398