Being There Together: Social Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments

Paperback | November 18, 2010

byRalph Schroeder

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Virtual environments provide places for "being there together", for avatars to interact with each other in computer-generated spaces. They range from immersive systems in which people have life-size tracked avatar bodies to large-scale spaces such as Second Life where populations of userssocialize in persistent virtual worlds. This book draws together research on how people interact in virtual environments: What difference does avatar appearance make? How do avatars collaborate and play together? How do the type of system and the space affect how people engage with each other? How does interaction between avatars differfrom face-to-face interaction? What can social scientists learn from experiments and other studies of how people interact in virtual environments? What are the ethical and social issues in doing this research, and in the uses of this technology? And how do virtual environments differ from othercommunication technologies such as videoconferencing systems and other new media? This book is a state-of-the art survey of research on these topics, and offers a framework for understanding this technology and its future implications.

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Virtual environments provide places for "being there together", for avatars to interact with each other in computer-generated spaces. They range from immersive systems in which people have life-size tracked avatar bodies to large-scale spaces such as Second Life where populations of userssocialize in persistent virtual worlds. This boo...

Ralph Schroeder is a Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. His publications include Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality Technology (1996) and Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (2007). He has also edited The Social Life of Avatars (2002) and co-edited Avata...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.71 inPublished:November 18, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195371283

ISBN - 13:9780195371284

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAbbreviations UsedList of Figures and Tables1. Virtual Environments and the Changing Landscape of Information and Communication TechnologiesDefinitions and OverviewThe Development of Shared Virtual Environments TechnologyTwo Technological End-States2. The Varieties of Experiences of Being There TogetherThe Range of MUVE SettingsThe Range of Experiences in MUVEsThe Components of MUVE ExperiencesThe Phenomenology of MUVE Experiences in Context3. Avatars, Online Spaces, and Social InteractionVirtual SpacesAvatar Appearance and Realism4. Collaboration in Immersive and Non-Immersive SpacesDistributed Work - Distributed Research - Distributed CollaborationTasks, Collaboration, and SystemsLong-term Collaboration5. Social Life in Online WorldsThe History of Virtual WorldsRoles and FramesGovernance, Economies and Trust in Virtual WorldsLimits of Online Worlds, Limits of Offline Perceptions6. CommunicationModalities of Communication in SVEsCommon Ground in Immersive and Non-Immersive SpacesLanguage Encounters in SVEsText versus Voice, Videoconferences versus MUVEs, Face-to-Face versus Online7. Research Uses of MUVEsThe Variety of Research Uses of MUVEsAnalysis of Small Group Interaction8. Ethical and Social Issues in MUVEsResearch EthicsEthical and Social Issues in MUVEs9. MUVEs and other Technologies for Being There TogetherOther Technologies for Being There TogetherMultiple Modalities, Multiple Networks10. The Future of Being There TogetherMUVEs as an End-StateThe Future of Two End-States