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3D Virtual Worlds

Contact: Shailey Minocha ( and Leonor Barroca (L.Barroca 'at'

3D virtual worlds have known an unprecedented growth in recent years, due to faster, cheaper computers and widespread broadband connections (Castronova, 2006). Besides traditional gaming and entertainment applications, some serious propositions are starting to emerge for their use both in education (de Freitas, 2008; Otto et al., 2006; Heldal et al., 2005; Wankel & Kingsley, 2009; Annetta, Folta & Klesath, 2010; Molka-Danielsen & Destchmann, 2009) and in the corporate world (Bartholomew, 2008; Daily et al., 2000; IBMSametime3D, 2009; Nguyen et al., 2008), particularly to foster remote collaboration within increasingly globally distributed institutions and industries. Industry forecasts (Driver & Driver, 2009) predict that within the next decade a 3D immersive layer will be added to current web technology, providing a high-degree of integration between immersive technology and the web, and making virtual worlds a mainstream technology for business and education.

(see reference list at the end of the page)

3D virtual worlds in education


Suggested reading for this strand of research (see also reference list at the end of the page):


L. A. Annetta, E. Folta, and M. Klesath (2010). V-Learning: Distance Education in the 21st Century Through 3D Virtual Learning Environments. Springer, to appear.

E. Castronova. Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. University Of Chicago Press, October 2006.

R. Bartholomew. Evaluating a networked virtual environment for globally distributed avionics software development. In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE), Bangalore, India, August 17-20 2008. IEEE Computer Press.

M. Daily, M. Howard, J. Jerald, C. Lee, K. M. ad Doug McInnes, P. Tincker, and R. C. Smith. Distributed design review in virtual environments. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE), San Francisco, US, September 10-12 2000.

E. Driver and S. Driver. Immersive internet business value study. Immersive Internet Analyst Report Series, No 2, ThinkBalm, May 2009.

S. de Freitas. Serious Virtual Worlds. A scoping guide. JISC e-Learning Programme, The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), UK, November 2008.

I. Heldal, R. Schroeder, A. Steed, A.-S. Axelsson, and M. Spante. Immersiveness and symmetry in copresent scenarios. In Proceedings of IEEE Virtual Reality, Bonn, Germany, March 12-16 2005. IEEE Computer Press.

IBM. Made in IBM labs: Secure, 3d meeting service now available with Lotus Sametime, 2009. Last accessed: October 2009.

J. Molka-Danielsen and M. Destchmann (2009), editors. Learning and Teaching in the Virtual World of Second Life. Tapir Academic Press, 17 Feb.

T. Nguyen, T. Wolf, and D. Damian. Global software development and delay: does distance still matter? In Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Global Software Engineering (ICGSE), Bangalore, India, August 17-20 2008. IEEE Computer Press.
C. Wankel and J. Kingsley (2009). Higher Education in Virtual Worlds: Teaching and Learning in Second Life. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 23 November.