Virtual Worlds for Virtual Organizing

  • Diana Rhoten
  • Wayne Lutters
Part of the Human-Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


The members and resources of a virtual organization are dispersed across time and space, yet they function as a coherent entity through the use of technologies, networks, and alliances. As virtual organizations proliferate and become increasingly important in society, many may exploit the technical architecture s of virtual worlds, which are the confluence of computer-mediated communication, telepresence, and virtual reality originally created for gaming. A brief socio-technical history describes their early origins and the waves of progress followed by stasis that brought us to the current period of renewed enthusiasm. Examination of contemporary examples demonstrates how three genres of virtual worlds have enabled new arenas for virtual organizing: developer-defined closed worlds, user-modifiable quasi-open worlds, and user-generated open worlds. Among expected future trends are an increase in collaboration born virtually rather than imported from existing organizations, a tension between high-fidelity recreations of the physical world and hyper-stylized imaginations of fantasy worlds, and the growth of specialized worlds optimized for particular sectors, companies, or cultures.


Virtual Reality Virtual World Virtual Organization Collaborative Virtual Environment Sociotechnical System 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diana Rhoten
    • 1
  • Wayne Lutters
    • 2
  1. 1.Social Science Research CouncilBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.University of Maryland, Baltimore CountyBaltimoreUSA

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