Synthetic Worlds

Synthetic Worlds

Author: Edward Castronova

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Published: 2008-09-15

Total Pages: 344

ISBN-13: 0226096319

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From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education


Book Synopsis Synthetic Worlds by : Edward Castronova

Download or read book Synthetic Worlds written by Edward Castronova and published by University of Chicago Press. This book was released on 2008-09-15 with total page 344 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: From EverQuest to World of Warcraft, online games have evolved from the exclusive domain of computer geeks into an extraordinarily lucrative staple of the entertainment industry. People of all ages and from all walks of life now spend thousands of hours—and dollars—partaking in this popular new brand of escapism. But the line between fantasy and reality is starting to blur. Players have created virtual societies with governments and economies of their own whose currencies now trade against the dollar on eBay at rates higher than the yen. And the players who inhabit these synthetic worlds are starting to spend more time online than at their day jobs. In Synthetic Worlds, Edward Castronova offers the first comprehensive look at the online game industry, exploring its implications for business and culture alike. He starts with the players, giving us a revealing look into the everyday lives of the gamers—outlining what they do in their synthetic worlds and why. He then describes the economies inside these worlds to show how they might dramatically affect real world financial systems, from potential disruptions of markets to new business horizons. Ultimately, he explores the long-term social consequences of online games: If players can inhabit worlds that are more alluring and gratifying than reality, then how can the real world ever compete? Will a day ever come when we spend more time in these synthetic worlds than in our own? Or even more startling, will a day ever come when such questions no longer sound alarmist but instead seem obsolete? With more than ten million active players worldwide—and with Microsoft and Sony pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into video game development—online games have become too big to ignore. Synthetic Worlds spearheads our efforts to come to terms with this virtual reality and its concrete effects. “Illuminating. . . . Castronova’s analysis of the economics of fun is intriguing. Virtual-world economies are designed to make the resulting game interesting and enjoyable for their inhabitants. Many games follow a rags-to-riches storyline, for example. But how can all the players end up in the top 10%? Simple: the upwardly mobile human players need only be a subset of the world's population. An underclass of computer-controlled 'bot' citizens, meanwhile, stays poor forever. Mr. Castronova explains all this with clarity, wit, and a merciful lack of academic jargon.”—The Economist “Synthetic Worlds is a surprisingly profound book about the social, political, and economic issues arising from the emergence of vast multiplayer games on the Internet. What Castronova has realized is that these games, where players contribute considerable labor in exchange for things they value, are not merely like real economies, they are real economies, displaying inflation, fraud, Chinese sweatshops, and some surprising in-game innovations.”—Tim Harford, Chronicle of Higher Education


Synthetic Worlds

Synthetic Worlds

Author: Esther Leslie

Publisher: Reaktion Books

Published: 2006-01-16

Total Pages: 280

ISBN-13: 1861895542

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This revealing study considers the remarkable alliance between chemistry and art from the late eighteenth century to the period immediately following the Second World War. Synthetic Worlds offers fascinating new insights into the place of the material object and the significance of the natural, the organic, and the inorganic in Western aesthetics. Esther Leslie considers how radical innovations in chemistry confounded earlier alchemical and Romantic philosophies of science and nature while profoundly influencing the theories that developed in their wake. She also explores how advances in chemical engineering provided visual artists with new colors, surfaces, coatings, and textures, thus dramatically recasting the way painters approached their work. Ranging from Goethe to Hegel, Blake to the Bauhaus, Synthetic Worlds ultimately considers the astonishing affinities between chemistry and aesthetics more generally. As in science, progress in the arts is always assured, because the impulse to discover is as immutable and timeless as the drive to create.


Book Synopsis Synthetic Worlds by : Esther Leslie

Download or read book Synthetic Worlds written by Esther Leslie and published by Reaktion Books. This book was released on 2006-01-16 with total page 280 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: This revealing study considers the remarkable alliance between chemistry and art from the late eighteenth century to the period immediately following the Second World War. Synthetic Worlds offers fascinating new insights into the place of the material object and the significance of the natural, the organic, and the inorganic in Western aesthetics. Esther Leslie considers how radical innovations in chemistry confounded earlier alchemical and Romantic philosophies of science and nature while profoundly influencing the theories that developed in their wake. She also explores how advances in chemical engineering provided visual artists with new colors, surfaces, coatings, and textures, thus dramatically recasting the way painters approached their work. Ranging from Goethe to Hegel, Blake to the Bauhaus, Synthetic Worlds ultimately considers the astonishing affinities between chemistry and aesthetics more generally. As in science, progress in the arts is always assured, because the impulse to discover is as immutable and timeless as the drive to create.


Synthetic Worlds

Synthetic Worlds

Author: Andreas Hebbel-Seeger

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

Published: 2013-08-13

Total Pages: 422

ISBN-13: 146146286X

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Synthetic Worlds, Virtual Worlds, and Alternate Realities are all terms used to describe the phenomenon of computer-based, simulated environments in which users inhabit and interact via avatars. The best-known commercial applications are in the form of electronic gaming, and particularly in massively-multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft or Second Life. Less known, but possibly more important, is the rapid adoption of platforms in education and business, where Serious Games are being used for training purposes, and even Second Life is being used in many situations that formerly required travel. The editors of this book captures the state of research in the field intended to reflect the rapidly growing yet relatively young market in education and business. The general focus is set on the scientific community but integrates the practical applications for businesses, with papers on information systems, business models, and economics. In six parts, international authors – all experts in their field – discuss the current state-of-the-art of virtual worlds/alternate realities and how the field will develop over the next years. Chapters discuss the influences and impacts in and around virtual worlds. Part four is about education, with a focus on learning environments and experiences, pedagogical models, and the effects on the different roles in the educational sector. The book looks at business models and how companies can participate in virtual worlds while receiving a return on investment, and includes cases and scenarios of integration, from design, implementation to application.


Book Synopsis Synthetic Worlds by : Andreas Hebbel-Seeger

Download or read book Synthetic Worlds written by Andreas Hebbel-Seeger and published by Springer Science & Business Media. This book was released on 2013-08-13 with total page 422 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Synthetic Worlds, Virtual Worlds, and Alternate Realities are all terms used to describe the phenomenon of computer-based, simulated environments in which users inhabit and interact via avatars. The best-known commercial applications are in the form of electronic gaming, and particularly in massively-multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft or Second Life. Less known, but possibly more important, is the rapid adoption of platforms in education and business, where Serious Games are being used for training purposes, and even Second Life is being used in many situations that formerly required travel. The editors of this book captures the state of research in the field intended to reflect the rapidly growing yet relatively young market in education and business. The general focus is set on the scientific community but integrates the practical applications for businesses, with papers on information systems, business models, and economics. In six parts, international authors – all experts in their field – discuss the current state-of-the-art of virtual worlds/alternate realities and how the field will develop over the next years. Chapters discuss the influences and impacts in and around virtual worlds. Part four is about education, with a focus on learning environments and experiences, pedagogical models, and the effects on the different roles in the educational sector. The book looks at business models and how companies can participate in virtual worlds while receiving a return on investment, and includes cases and scenarios of integration, from design, implementation to application.


Working Through Synthetic Worlds

Working Through Synthetic Worlds

Author: Kenneth W. Kisiel

Publisher: CRC Press

Published: 2018-04-17

Total Pages: 446

ISBN-13: 1134783256

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Virtual environments (VE) are human-computer interfaces in which the computer creates a sensory-immersing environment that interactively responds to and is controlled by the behaviour of the user. Since these technologies will continue to become more reliable, more resolute and more affordable, it's important to consider the advantages that VEs may offer to support business processes. The term 'synthetic world' refers to a subset of VEs, having a large virtual landscape and a set of rules that govern the interactions among participants. Currently, the primary motivators for participation in these synthetic worlds appear to be fun and novelty. As the novelty wears off, synthetic worlds will need to demonstrate a favourable value proposition if they are to survive. In particular, non-game-oriented worlds will need to facilitate business processes to a degree that exceeds their substantial costs for development and maintenance. Working Through Synthetic Worlds explores a variety of different tasks that might benefit by being performed within a synthetic world. The editors use a distinctive format for the book, consisting of a set of chapters composed of three parts: ¢ a story or vignette that describes work conducted within a synthetic world based loosely on the question, 'what will work be like in the year 2025?', founded on the expert authors' expectations of plausible future technologies ¢ a scholarly review of the technologies described by the stories and the current theories related to those technologies ¢ a prescription for future research required to bridge the current state-of-the-art with the notional worlds described in the stories. The book will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students, professors, scientists and engineers, managers in high-tech industries and software developers.


Book Synopsis Working Through Synthetic Worlds by : Kenneth W. Kisiel

Download or read book Working Through Synthetic Worlds written by Kenneth W. Kisiel and published by CRC Press. This book was released on 2018-04-17 with total page 446 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Virtual environments (VE) are human-computer interfaces in which the computer creates a sensory-immersing environment that interactively responds to and is controlled by the behaviour of the user. Since these technologies will continue to become more reliable, more resolute and more affordable, it's important to consider the advantages that VEs may offer to support business processes. The term 'synthetic world' refers to a subset of VEs, having a large virtual landscape and a set of rules that govern the interactions among participants. Currently, the primary motivators for participation in these synthetic worlds appear to be fun and novelty. As the novelty wears off, synthetic worlds will need to demonstrate a favourable value proposition if they are to survive. In particular, non-game-oriented worlds will need to facilitate business processes to a degree that exceeds their substantial costs for development and maintenance. Working Through Synthetic Worlds explores a variety of different tasks that might benefit by being performed within a synthetic world. The editors use a distinctive format for the book, consisting of a set of chapters composed of three parts: ¢ a story or vignette that describes work conducted within a synthetic world based loosely on the question, 'what will work be like in the year 2025?', founded on the expert authors' expectations of plausible future technologies ¢ a scholarly review of the technologies described by the stories and the current theories related to those technologies ¢ a prescription for future research required to bridge the current state-of-the-art with the notional worlds described in the stories. The book will appeal to undergraduate and graduate students, professors, scientists and engineers, managers in high-tech industries and software developers.


Peak Plastic

Peak Plastic

Author: Jack Buffington

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

Published: 2018-11-02

Total Pages: 139

ISBN-13:

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Shows why plastics, in aggregate, have become a toxin to humans, wildlife, and the planet, and proposes novel solutions that involve neither traditional recycling nor giving up plastic. "Plastics!" In the 50 years since Dustin Hoffman's character in The Graduate was instructed that this was the career field of the future, we have not been able to escape this ubiquitous but poorly understood material. Author Jack Buffington argues that the plastics crisis is careening toward a tipping point from which there will be no return. There is still time, however, to do something about this crisis if we have the imagination and the will to move away from the failed policies of the past. This book is the first to propose a new model for linking our synthetic world to the natural one, rather than seeking to treat them as separate entities. The key is supply chain innovation. Buffington presents five market-based solutions based on this principle that will allow consumers to continue to use plastic, which has in many ways enabled our way of life. Alongside these proposed solutions, he also addresses the proliferation of plastic as we know it—growth that, if left unchecked, will lead to a "planetary crisis," according to the United Nations—and considers how the material itself might be adapted for a sustainable future.


Book Synopsis Peak Plastic by : Jack Buffington

Download or read book Peak Plastic written by Jack Buffington and published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA. This book was released on 2018-11-02 with total page 139 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Shows why plastics, in aggregate, have become a toxin to humans, wildlife, and the planet, and proposes novel solutions that involve neither traditional recycling nor giving up plastic. "Plastics!" In the 50 years since Dustin Hoffman's character in The Graduate was instructed that this was the career field of the future, we have not been able to escape this ubiquitous but poorly understood material. Author Jack Buffington argues that the plastics crisis is careening toward a tipping point from which there will be no return. There is still time, however, to do something about this crisis if we have the imagination and the will to move away from the failed policies of the past. This book is the first to propose a new model for linking our synthetic world to the natural one, rather than seeking to treat them as separate entities. The key is supply chain innovation. Buffington presents five market-based solutions based on this principle that will allow consumers to continue to use plastic, which has in many ways enabled our way of life. Alongside these proposed solutions, he also addresses the proliferation of plastic as we know it—growth that, if left unchecked, will lead to a "planetary crisis," according to the United Nations—and considers how the material itself might be adapted for a sustainable future.


Synthetic Worlds

Synthetic Worlds

Author: Andreas Hebbel-Seeger

Publisher: Springer

Published: 2016-08-23

Total Pages: 0

ISBN-13: 9781493941209

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Synthetic Worlds, Virtual Worlds, and Alternate Realities are all terms used to describe the phenomenon of computer-based, simulated environments in which users inhabit and interact via avatars. The best-known commercial applications are in the form of electronic gaming, and particularly in massively-multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft or Second Life. Less known, but possibly more important, is the rapid adoption of platforms in education and business, where Serious Games are being used for training purposes, and even Second Life is being used in many situations that formerly required travel. The editors of this book captures the state of research in the field intended to reflect the rapidly growing yet relatively young market in education and business. The general focus is set on the scientific community but integrates the practical applications for businesses, with papers on information systems, business models, and economics. In six parts, international authors – all experts in their field – discuss the current state-of-the-art of virtual worlds/alternate realities and how the field will develop over the next years. Chapters discuss the influences and impacts in and around virtual worlds. Part four is about education, with a focus on learning environments and experiences, pedagogical models, and the effects on the different roles in the educational sector. The book looks at business models and how companies can participate in virtual worlds while receiving a return on investment, and includes cases and scenarios of integration, from design, implementation to application.


Book Synopsis Synthetic Worlds by : Andreas Hebbel-Seeger

Download or read book Synthetic Worlds written by Andreas Hebbel-Seeger and published by Springer. This book was released on 2016-08-23 with total page 0 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Synthetic Worlds, Virtual Worlds, and Alternate Realities are all terms used to describe the phenomenon of computer-based, simulated environments in which users inhabit and interact via avatars. The best-known commercial applications are in the form of electronic gaming, and particularly in massively-multiplayer online role-playing games like World of Warcraft or Second Life. Less known, but possibly more important, is the rapid adoption of platforms in education and business, where Serious Games are being used for training purposes, and even Second Life is being used in many situations that formerly required travel. The editors of this book captures the state of research in the field intended to reflect the rapidly growing yet relatively young market in education and business. The general focus is set on the scientific community but integrates the practical applications for businesses, with papers on information systems, business models, and economics. In six parts, international authors – all experts in their field – discuss the current state-of-the-art of virtual worlds/alternate realities and how the field will develop over the next years. Chapters discuss the influences and impacts in and around virtual worlds. Part four is about education, with a focus on learning environments and experiences, pedagogical models, and the effects on the different roles in the educational sector. The book looks at business models and how companies can participate in virtual worlds while receiving a return on investment, and includes cases and scenarios of integration, from design, implementation to application.


Exodus to the Virtual World

Exodus to the Virtual World

Author: Edward Castronova

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Published: 2007-11-27

Total Pages: 268

ISBN-13: 0230608612

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Virtual worlds have exploded out of online game culture and now capture the attention of millions of ordinary people: husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, workers, retirees. Devoting dozens of hours each week to massively multiplayer virtual reality environments (like World of Warcraft and Second Life), these millions are the start of an exodus into the refuge of fantasy, where they experience life under a new social, political, and economic order built around fun. Given the choice between a fantasy world and the real world, how many of us would choose reality? Exodus to the Virtual World explains the growing migration into virtual reality, and how it will change the way we live--both in fantasy worlds and in the real one.


Book Synopsis Exodus to the Virtual World by : Edward Castronova

Download or read book Exodus to the Virtual World written by Edward Castronova and published by St. Martin's Press. This book was released on 2007-11-27 with total page 268 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Virtual worlds have exploded out of online game culture and now capture the attention of millions of ordinary people: husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, workers, retirees. Devoting dozens of hours each week to massively multiplayer virtual reality environments (like World of Warcraft and Second Life), these millions are the start of an exodus into the refuge of fantasy, where they experience life under a new social, political, and economic order built around fun. Given the choice between a fantasy world and the real world, how many of us would choose reality? Exodus to the Virtual World explains the growing migration into virtual reality, and how it will change the way we live--both in fantasy worlds and in the real one.


Multimedia Modeling: Towards Information Superhighway

Multimedia Modeling: Towards Information Superhighway

Author: Tat Seng Chua

Publisher: World Scientific

Published: 1995-11-10

Total Pages: 442

ISBN-13: 9814548316

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The process of integrating multiple senses and media into computer systems accelerated recently. This has broaden the applications of multimedia from the traditional areas of information organization, presentation and learning, to the new fields of simulation and virtual reality. Applications that have benefited from the introduction of multimedia include: training, demonstration of products for sales or inventory, education, computer-aided design and engineering, medicine, weather, and entertainment.This volume is devoted to the discussion of effective modeling of multimedia information and systems for a wide range of applications. It is perhaps the only book that devotes entirely to this important but much neglected topic.


Book Synopsis Multimedia Modeling: Towards Information Superhighway by : Tat Seng Chua

Download or read book Multimedia Modeling: Towards Information Superhighway written by Tat Seng Chua and published by World Scientific. This book was released on 1995-11-10 with total page 442 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: The process of integrating multiple senses and media into computer systems accelerated recently. This has broaden the applications of multimedia from the traditional areas of information organization, presentation and learning, to the new fields of simulation and virtual reality. Applications that have benefited from the introduction of multimedia include: training, demonstration of products for sales or inventory, education, computer-aided design and engineering, medicine, weather, and entertainment.This volume is devoted to the discussion of effective modeling of multimedia information and systems for a wide range of applications. It is perhaps the only book that devotes entirely to this important but much neglected topic.


Videogames and Education

Videogames and Education

Author: Harry J. Brown

Publisher: Routledge

Published: 2014-12-18

Total Pages: 248

ISBN-13: 1317452666

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Video games challenge our notions of identity, creativity, and moral value, and provide a powerful new avenue for teaching and learning. This book is a rich and provocative guide to the role of interactive media in cultural learning. It searches for specific ways to interpret video games in the context of human experience and in the field of humanities research. The author shows how video games have become a powerful form of political, ethical, and religious discourse, and how they have already influenced the way we teach, learn, and create. He discusses the major trends in game design, the public controversies surrounding video games, and the predominant critical positions in game criticism. The book speaks to all educators, scholars, and thinking persons who seek a fuller understanding of this significant and video games cultural phenomenon.


Book Synopsis Videogames and Education by : Harry J. Brown

Download or read book Videogames and Education written by Harry J. Brown and published by Routledge. This book was released on 2014-12-18 with total page 248 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Video games challenge our notions of identity, creativity, and moral value, and provide a powerful new avenue for teaching and learning. This book is a rich and provocative guide to the role of interactive media in cultural learning. It searches for specific ways to interpret video games in the context of human experience and in the field of humanities research. The author shows how video games have become a powerful form of political, ethical, and religious discourse, and how they have already influenced the way we teach, learn, and create. He discusses the major trends in game design, the public controversies surrounding video games, and the predominant critical positions in game criticism. The book speaks to all educators, scholars, and thinking persons who seek a fuller understanding of this significant and video games cultural phenomenon.


Information Dynamics in Virtual Worlds

Information Dynamics in Virtual Worlds

Author: Woody Evans

Publisher: Elsevier

Published: 2011-06-15

Total Pages: 217

ISBN-13: 1780632746

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Presents a broad examination of the nature of virtual worlds and the potential they provide in managing and expressing information practices through that medium, grounding information professionals and students of new media in the fundamental elements of virtual worlds and online gaming. The book details the practical issues in finding and using information in virtual environments and presents a general theory of librarianship as it relates to virtual gaming worlds. It is encompassed by a set of best practice methods that libraries can effectively execute in their own environments, meeting the needs of this new generation of library user, and explores ways in which information literacy can be approached in virtual worlds. Final chapters examine how conventional information evaluation skills work falls short in virtual worlds online. Maps out areas of good practice and technique for information professionals and librarians serving in virtual communities Provides a clear foundation with appropriate theory for understanding information in virtual worlds Treats virtual worlds as ‘real environments’ and observes the behaviour of actors within them


Book Synopsis Information Dynamics in Virtual Worlds by : Woody Evans

Download or read book Information Dynamics in Virtual Worlds written by Woody Evans and published by Elsevier. This book was released on 2011-06-15 with total page 217 pages. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: Presents a broad examination of the nature of virtual worlds and the potential they provide in managing and expressing information practices through that medium, grounding information professionals and students of new media in the fundamental elements of virtual worlds and online gaming. The book details the practical issues in finding and using information in virtual environments and presents a general theory of librarianship as it relates to virtual gaming worlds. It is encompassed by a set of best practice methods that libraries can effectively execute in their own environments, meeting the needs of this new generation of library user, and explores ways in which information literacy can be approached in virtual worlds. Final chapters examine how conventional information evaluation skills work falls short in virtual worlds online. Maps out areas of good practice and technique for information professionals and librarians serving in virtual communities Provides a clear foundation with appropriate theory for understanding information in virtual worlds Treats virtual worlds as ‘real environments’ and observes the behaviour of actors within them