Question

Respond to the following questions:

1. What is a virtual world?
2. How do you see virtual worlds being used in the future? Do you think that the technology is just a trend, or something that is here to stay? Explain.
3. What are some difficulties in using a virtual world for business or professional purposes?
4. Do you seen any major benefits (or not) in using virtual worlds for marketing a business or its products in a virtual space compared to a web page?
5. How do you view education in a virtual world? Would you ever consider using it for an online course?
6. Thinking about other collaboration tools you have used online to work with or communicate with other user, do you think something like Second Life would be better (or worse) to use? Explain.

Solution Preview

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In thinking about an answer to this question, it occurred to me that a successful answer must at least manage to distinguish between online ‘environments’ commonly referred to as virtual worlds, such as Second Life, and the more metaphorical use of ‘virtual worlds’ to describe online venues such as sports or audio-visual message board forums, or even the Internet itself. And implicit in that basic—I think, necessary—requirement is the idea and assumption that Second Life is an exemplar of a virtual world, that if Second Life is not a virtual world then nothing is. So, why is Second Life a virtual world and why are we inclined to say that a Towson basketball fan forum is not a virtual world? And, closely related to that question is the issue of whether...

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