From [[http://cpsquare.org CPsquare]], the community of practice on communities of practice.
3D environments are persistent virtual locations created by game or graphic designers where participants, represented as animated figures in a three dimensional visual environment that can vary from fanciful to realistic, may interact with other participants or objects in the environment in real time. Kaye Vivian 18:33, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
3D environments incorporate traditional communication tools, like typed chat, private messaging, and local live voice chat, but provide additional features, like avatar animations, embedded video and slide presentations, and computer generated characters for avatars to interact with, for a customized user experience. 3D environments enable participants to have a more realistic interaction with one another than is possible using text chat tools. Many 3D environments permit users to modify the appearance of their avatars, build new 3D objects in the environment or modify existing objects to provide a highly customized experience that is shared by all participants. Communities in virtual world parallel traditional communities in that they can be affinity groups, gaming groups, family groups, business groups, fan groups or just about any other sort of community.Kaye Vivian 18:35, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Uses in Communities of Practice
3D environments offer participants from dispersed locations an opportunity to participate in group work or conversations with a sense of presence or tele-presence. Customizable avatars give users the ability to represent themselves accurately or frivolously, and interact with other avatars in the 3D environment just like people meeting in the real world. In a non-gaming context, VoIP is typically used to provide live voice conferencing and further “humanize” the 3D interaction experience. Some uses communities make of 3D environments include:
- Virtual business or planning meetings
- Online conferences
- Virtual trade shows
- New hire orientation
- Online presence indicators
- Collaborative building
- Performing arts presentations – virtual concerts, theatre and dance
- Shared virtual travel
- Enhanced participation by members with physical disabilities
Kaye Vivian 17:03, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
(link to other wiki sources)
- Avatar - An animated online persona that represents the user's chosen embodied appearance to other people in a virtual world environment. The key is the user controls the behaviors and appearance of the virtual alter ego, rather than manipulating a preprogrammed or computer generated character. Avatars are also occasionally referred to as "toons", a parallel term derived from the online game Disney’s Toontown
- Persistent environment - A virtual world that continues to exist even after a user exits the world. User-made changes to its state are, to some extent, permanent, and NPCs interact with users in an adaptive way. Since the environment does not pause or create player-accessible back-up files, a character's actions in a persistent world will have consequences that the user must deal with.
- NPCs - Non-Player Characters. NPC is the term for scripted or animated characters that are part of the programming of the persistent world and are not operated by human users.
- Real time - When scenarios or actions respond to events as they occur and at the same rate as the user is performing the actions.
- Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) - Massively Multiplayer Online Games. MMOGs are video games that are capable of supporting hundreds or thousands of players simultaneously in real time in a single persistent environment. MMOGs are played over the Internet because of the number of simultaneous users and locations involved. Players are represented by avatars in the environment, and real time voice communication using VoIP often supplements communication tools available within the game world. Multiplayer games may also be played by small groups of players over LANs or private networks. MMOGs can enable players to cooperate and compete with each other on a large scale, and to interact meaningfully with other remote users. The artificial intelligence on the server is primarily designed to support group interaction or play. MMOG worlds are typically large, varied environments, so users are not concentrated in a single world location. Examples: World of Warcraft, Everquest, Lineage, Castle Wolfenstein.
- Virtual World - A 3D simulated environment that appears to have the characteristics of some other environment, and in which participants perceive themselves to be interactive parts. Users are represented on screen as themselves or as animated characters, and interact in real time with other users in structured or unstructured activities. The first virtual worlds on the Internet were text-based (limited graphical representations) communities and chat rooms. Some virtual worlds have off-line, real world components and applications, such as business meetings, training seminars or monitoring network server farms. Examples: Second Life, Kaneva, Active Worlds
- 2.5 D - An informal term used to describe visual phenomena that are actually 2D with 3D-looking graphics to emulate a 3D experience. Also called pseudo-3D. One method adds a "depth" channel or Z-buffer which may act like a height map to a 2D image; others include isometric or axonometric projection. It also describes 3D scenes built completely or partially from a composite of flat 2D images or where gameplay is restricted to a 2D plane displayed in a three-dimensional space. 2.5D environments require less computer processing power. Examples: CyWorld, Habbo Hotel, vSide.
- Machinima - The use of real time 3D graphics rendering engines to generate computer animation, as well as works that incorporate this animation technique. Its real-time nature favors speed, cost saving, and flexibility over the higher quality of pre-rendered computer animation. Machinima can be filmed by relying upon in-game camera tools and artificial intelligence or by controlling characters and cameras through digital puppetry. Kaye Vivian 05:32, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
What information the system considers (?) <might need a different word>
What it does with the information
How much control the users have over the displayed profile
Benefits Over Traditional Tools
- Strong sense of having been in a “face to face” experience – more lifelike interactions possible
- Reduces meeting travel expense
- Allows remote members to participate as if they were present
- More experiential than traditional online meeting tools
- Relatively inexpensive software to install and use
Limitations Over Traditional Tools
- Learning curve for new users and non-gamers may be longer. Avatar manipulation requires users to learn movement and social interaction keyboard commands.
- Audio conversations require transcription to text if a text file is needed.
- Audio files and text logs of conversations are unedited and raw. Both need editing/clean-up to create a file that can be reused or distributed to non-attendees.
Comparable to Traditional Tools
- Interactions may be synchronous or asynchronous
- Global interactions in real time may create time scheduling challenges
Kaye Vivian 17:22, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Examples and Related Tools
This list is not all-inclusive. It includes widely known or well-regarded tools that can provide examples for comparison to online community leaders. (add video links)
- [ Wonderland]
- [ Metaplace]
- [ Multiverse]
- [ VastPark]
Add-ons and Mods
- [ Myrl] avatar manager
- Academy of Machinima Arts & Sciences (AMAS)
- Association of Virtual Worlds
- Internet Bar Association
- American Library Association Virtual Communities
- World of Warcraft
- Second Life
- Active Worlds
- Forterra Systems
- Habbo Hotel