The Future of Virtual Worlds
This book, like the May 2008 conference in World of Warcraft, ends with projections toward what the future might hold for virtual worlds. Every chapter thus far has included speculations about future directions, even while standing on data from the past. This last chapter, like the final session of the conference on which it is based, incorporates comments from dozens of participants into a stream of ideas. We have edited selected comments together with the panel’s contributions. Our intention is to provide a portal from this book into a wider virtual community comprising researchers and residents in virtual worlds. The discussion surveys many recent lines of development, some of which have already been surveyed in scientific and historical literature, or by journalists (Au 2008; Castronova 2007; Guest 2007; Ludlow and Wallace 2007). Yet, many of the topics here have not received such attention. Considered as a set of socio-technical innovations, virtual worlds are not just about technical possibilities; they also inspired the participants to consider the economic bases for investing in those possibilities and the novel cultural, social, and artistic forms virtual worlds might offer.
KeywordsAugmented Reality Virtual World Online Game Game World Star Trek
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