From the preface of Working through Synthetic Worlds
Over the past several years, a number of new Internet based immersive worlds (virtual worlds) have grown in popularity. Second Life logs millions of simultaneous users on a daily basis. Massively Multi-User Online Games (MMOGs) such as World of Warcraft are becoming ubiquitous. It is clear that games and social interaction are greatly facilitated by virtual worlds but we believe that the time is right to start taking a serious look at the future potential of these environments beyond games and social networks. We need to ask questions like: Just what are virtual worlds good for? What value is there in these virtual communities and what potential value could there be for doing real work? Where might one strategically invest in research with these technologies to influence their development to make people more productive?
So by “working” we mean: How could virtual world technologies be used as a tool to assist in transforming the traditional workplace? How can we use them to facilitate information sharing and collaboration across a diverse workforce that might be geographically and temporally separated? What does a virtual environment afford that offers a favorable value proposition compared to the real world?
Working Through Synthetic Worlds is edited by C.A.P. Smith, Colorado State University, USA, Jeffrey G. Morrison, Ph.D, Program Manager, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center – Pacific, USA and Kenneth W. Kisiel, Principal Research Engineer, Lockheed Martin Corporation, USA
For more information about the book, visit Ashgate’s website