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The Virtual Community
Howard Rheingold's 1993 classic


Avatars! Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet, by Bruce Damer

Avatars! Exploring and Building Virtual Worlds on the Internet
Bruce Damer
Contact Consortium

The original book about Avatars, a starter kid for new and experienced citizens. CD-ROM contains many ready to run worlds. See the book homepage and you can order the book directly on this page on Amazon.com.

Michael Heim's wonderful books on cyberspace including his new Virtual Realism: (Oxford U. Press, 1998) begins where the Metaphysics left off. Once we discover the new reality layer, we need look at the social and aesthetic impact of virtuality. "Virtual Realism" describes the art of virtual worlds and explores its social impact.

Find out more about all these books at Michael's homepage

Web developer's guide to 3D Avatars by Sue Ki Wilcox

"The WebDeveloper.com Guide to 3D Avatar Tools" (ISBN 0-471-24216-0) is really the best book on Avatar design there is. Find it at this page on Amazon.com.


Envisioning Cyberspace by Peter Anders

A fabulous new book about cyberspace and how we perceive it and ourselves there. Find more about it at this page. This book discusses the many ways to design spaces that exist in electronic form (i.e. computer games like SimCity or in CAD systems). Virtual reality and the Internet are leading us to a future of more sophisticated 3D interfaces. Examples from top designers in the field illustrate how architects, designers, planners, and programmers can create cyberreal electronic spaces.

Conversations WIth Angels

Michael Powers' How to Program Virtual Communities

The original book on the art and science of creating and managing virtual communities with avatars, and MUD bases. A virtual community is an online space where people interact in a social sense. Using easy-to-understand directions and practical examples, Webmasters will learn how to successfully create these communities on their sites, and master expert tips and tricks that will bring people back to their site again and again. - Easy, step-by-step instructions for the most popular solutions in text, 2D, and 3D. You can order the book directly on this page on Amazon.com.

Online Papers

Contact Consortium Hotlinks to papers, books, articles on virtual worlds and avatars

Bruce Damer's archive of online papers, interviews and event writeups
Bruce Damer

Lifelike Avatars - Gesture and Narrative Language Group
Hannes Vilhjalmsson
MIT Media Lab

"Aesthetic Issues in the Design of Multiparticipant Virtual Worlds"
Rebecca Allen,
University of California, Los Angeles

"Life at the Palace - A Cyberpsychology Case Study"
John Suler
Rider Univeristy

" MOOSE Crossing: Construction, Community, and Learning in a Networked Virtual World for Kids"
Amy Bruckman
MIT Media Lab

"Personal Space in a Virtual Community"
Phillip Jeffrey GMD
German National Research Center for Information Technology
FIT - Institute for Applied Information Technology, Germany

"Archaeological Virtual Worlds for Public Education"
Donald H. Sanders, Ph.D., President, Learning Sites, Inc.

"Learning Spaces in the Networlds of Tomorrow"
Margaret Riel
School of Education
University of California, Irvine

"Embodiment in Virtual Worlds"
T.L. Taylor
Brandeis University


"Virtual Reality and Education"
Diversity University

"Virtual Reality and Education: Information Sources"

"Constructivism in Practice: The Case for Meaning-Making in the Virtual World"
Kimberley M. Osberg
University of Washington Dept. of Education

ABSTRACT: This study compares the educational value of constructivist pedagogy as applied through the design, development and experience of 3-D interactive virtual learning environments to a traditional classroom approach and to a no instruction control. The constructivist treatment provided students with access to their choice of source content, 3-D modeling tools and instruction in virtual world development to assist in developing visual, auditory and interactive signs and symbols in the virtual environment. Traditional instruction included a biology textbook, worksheets and teacher-led discussions. Subjects were 117 7th and 8th grade students in a constructivist classroom studying wetland ecology. Subsequent research is presented in an Addendum that indicates that virtual world building is both motivational and educationally efficacious.

"Collaboration in a Virtual World: Support for Conceptual Learning?"
Paul Brna & Rob Aspin
Computer Based Learning Unit,
Leeds University, Leeds, England, UK

ABSTRACT: Collaborative activity is considered by many educators as being a goal worth pursuing both in itself and in terms of increasing the efficiency of problem solving and learning. Recently, with the current improvements in Virtual Reality (VR) technologies, researchers have sought to extend the utility of VR into the area of conceptual learning. The advantages (and disadvantages) of collaborative problem solving are rehearsed with particular emphasis on learning physics. The main issue addressed in this paper is how Virtual Environments (VEs) can be designed to provide improved support for conceptual learning of physics. The design and implementation of a set of collaborative VEs (CVEs) is outlined. A pilot study is described which features several worlds designed as part of the Virtual Physics laboratory. The basic results are presented along with a discussion as to how the research could be moved forward. The discussion also raises the issues of desktop versus more immersive approaches; of collaborative versus solitary use; of navigation; and of the interface.

"The NICE Project: Learning Together in a Virtual World"
Andrew Johnson, Maria Roussos, Jason Leigh,
Christina Vasilakis, Craig Barnes, Thomas Moher
Electronic Visualization Laboratory & Interactive Computing Environments Laboratory
University of Illinois at Chicago

ABSTRACT: This paper describes the NICE project, an immersive learning environment for children implemented in the CAVE and related multi-user virtual reality (VR) technologies. The NICE project provides an engaging setting where children construct and cultivate simple virtual ecosystems, collaborate via networks with other remotely-located children, and create stories from their interactions in the real and virtual world.

Virtual Reality and Education Laboratory (VREL)

School of Education, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC USA
Co-Directors: Dr. Lawrence Auld auldl@mail.ecu.edu
Dr. Veronica Pantelidis pantelidisv@mail.ecu.edu

Based on a perceived need for a laboratory to study the implications of virtual reality for K-12 education, Dr. Lawrence Auld and Dr. Veronica Pantelidis established VREL in 1992. The goals of VREL are to 1) identify suitable applications of virtual reality in education and training, 2) gather information on educational applications of virtual reality throughout the world, 3) examine impact of virtual reality on education and training and 4) disseminate information as broadly as possible


Conference Proceedings

Avatars98 Conference Report and other Avatars Conferences

The first conference held inside virtual worlds on the Internet.See also the reports from the 1996 Earth to Avatars and Avatars97 events.

Contact Consortium links to four years of events in the realm of virtual worlds and communities

Do you have a publication (especially online) you would like included here? Please contact us!

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