New World View

  • William Sims Bainbridge
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


This chapter reports the wide range of ideas in a pair of major scientific conference meetings held inside the most popular virtual world, World of Warcraft (WoW), May 9 and May 10, 2008, plus the challenges of organizing these online events. More than a hundred scholars and scientists contributed to each session, the first covering research on World of Warcraft, and the second examining how virtual worlds fit into the larger world of human experience. A third session, held on May 11, was the starting point for the concluding chapter of this volume. This chapter describes how WoW and other virtual worlds can be used as laboratories for studying human behavior, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, and the affordances of virtual worlds can be used to support scientific communication (Bainbridge 2007, in press).


Virtual World Plenary Session Online Game Auction House Session Chair 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bainbridge WS (2007) The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds. Science 317:472-476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bainbridge WS (2009) Etopia. ACM Networker 13:36-37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bainbridge WS (2010) The Warcraft Civilization. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bohannon J (2008a) Scientists, We Need Your Swords!. Science 320:312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bohannon J (2008b) Scientists Invade Azeroth. Science 320:1592CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bohannon J (2008c) Slaying Monsters for Science. Science online (
  7. Castronova E (2005) Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  8. Castronova E (2007) Exodus to the Virtual World: How Online Fun is Changing Reality. Palgrave Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Corneliussen HG, Rettberg JW (eds) (2008) Digital Culture, Play and Identity: A World of Warcraft Reader. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  10. Huizinga J (1949) Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture. London Routledge and Kegan PaulGoogle Scholar
  11. Lessig L (1999) Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Sims Bainbridge
    • 1
  1. 1.VirginiaUSA

Personalised recommendations