Final Paper Topic… Take a Guess…

That’s right folks, I am continuing with my interest in Virtual Worlds and will be looking further into them for my final paper. I will be taking a slightly different approach from my previous blog post as this paper will be more informative than that post and less to prove a point. I plan to explore both the positives and the negatives of virtual worlds (I would like to look into some of the things Chaz brought up in comments in my previous post). 

The positives I express will be more geared to how Virtual Worlds are helping people to communicate, communify (I may have made this word up, but I thought that the 3 C’s would be fun), and collaborate. I have even found some interesting videos on youtube about how companies and schools are using Virtual Worlds to collaborate (similar technology to what is Josh talked about in his post, only in Second Life). This interests me because it takes away geographical borders (they don’t have to be in the same room to be working on the same project). Hopefully as my research blossoms I will find more information to support this idea, not just within businesses but in other organizations and social atmospheres.

I would also like to explore to find how out Virtual Worlds are allowing people to create organizations and networks that they would not have been able to build otherwise. It is important to realize they these are not just games, they allow people to build relationships and contacts as well.

As stated above I would also like to take a look into some of the negative issues that have been brought up about virtual worlds. As mentioned in our class, some people are concerned that people who become involved in virtual worlds begin to lose track their real  world life. I would like to take a closer look at this to see how other scholars feel about this and if it is really a detriment to everyone to whom this happens. 

There is also the issue of safety on these sites. I am not sure if any kind of reality is attached to these shows, but CSI New York and Law and Order SVU have both had episodes that I have seen where people involved in these Virtual Worlds (namely Second Life) have gotten into trouble. I would like to look into user safety and see if there is any truth to the stories that are played out on CSI and SVU (I wonder this because I have seen many episodes of SVU that have played off of real life current events).

Hopefully my explorations will be fruitful and will provide information that will be useful and informative for me and others who may come across my writings.

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4 Responses

  1. This seems like a really interesting topic. I would be interested to see what you find out regarding the comparison with the television shows to the virtual world. Do you think that there is also still a need to not defend, but to clarify more your view on why you feel virtual worlds are positive venues to create social networks? Or do you think that your research will be equal with both positives and negatives?

  2. The issue / advantages of virtual world is a perplexing topic for me. Just last night I found myself playing Fifa on Xbox Live. While this may not be a virtual world like Second Life, for me I have found that the only way I like playing games is online or with friends (for the sense of communication and comraderie). You can talk trash when you score on someone, teach each other different new techniques etc. In all of this, I got up this morning wanting to play more. But I asked myself why? What do I gain from playing this game. In the end you win or lose, but what else? Most of the people you play online or relationships you build are short-lived. (Maybe it’s just the types of games I play.)

  3. Kristen- I think for this paper I am going to try to be more objective and informative. Since this will be my research for the next half a year or so I would really like to learn more about what others think and what scholars have found. I will form my opinions after i am more informed (even though I am already a little leaning towards the side of these things are awesome).

    Geoff- I have no Idea why I play the games I play either. Maybe it’s just because they are fun and help us to relax a bit (I know I would definitely have more fun playing all day than doing work). I have recently wanted to go back and play Kingdon Hearts again, but I have found it difficult because I too enjoy the social aspects of some of the games that I play. I know in some other types of games people do form lasting relationships. A friend of mine still talks to exactly the same people on World of Warcraft that he has talked to since the day he started playing, and I know he is not alone.
    How does FIFA work? Do you join a team of other players or do you control your own team (this is how it has worked in most of the sports games I have played)? Do you always play with the same group of people or is it like Halo where they just throw you in with whoever is available?

  4. Great video. I shared it with my two research collaborators on virtual worlds.

    Look into Julian Dibbel for some of the questions about safety. He is a very colorful figure. Reported (I think) on one of the first cases of sexual assault in a virtual world,and a lot longer ago than you think.

    I have a 3I framework to describe them- identity, immersion, and interactive. We can have your Cs and my Is chat.

    Daniel Terdiman has reported on entrepreneurship in SL.

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