Virtual worlds are most often three dimensional locales, where people create virtual personae (called avatars) who come to play, socialize, and work. This edited collection of groundbreaking research on virtual worlds offers a wide-ranging look at the sociology, politics, and communication practices in virtual worlds from a group of scholars in the United States and abroad.
The Editor: Don Heider is an author, researcher, and award-winning broadcast news journalist. He has authored/edited several books including Managing Television News: A Handbook for Ethical and Effective Producing (co-authored with Bill Silcock and Mary Rogus), Class and News and White News: Why Local News Programs Don't Cover People of Color.
Contents: Don Heider: Introduction - James D. Ivory: Technological Developments and Transitions in Virtual Worlds - Marianne Ryan: The Sociotechnical Infrastructures of Virtual Worlds - Aleksandra K. Krotoski/Evanthia Lyons/Julie Barnett: The Social Life of Second Life: An Analysis of the Social Networks of a Virtual World - David Boyns/Sima Forghani/Elena Sosnovskaya: MMORPG Worlds: On the Construction of Social Reality in World of Warcraft - Nan Zheng: When Geography Matters in a Virtual World: In-game Urban Planning and Its Impact on the Second Life Community - David Beer/Beverly Geesin: Rockin' with the Avatars: "Live" Music and the Virtual Spaces of Second Life - Don Heider: Identity and Reality: What Does It Mean to Live Virtually? - Jaime Loke: Identity and Gender In Second Life - Edward Castronova et al.: Virtual World Economics: A Case Study of the Economics of Arden - J. Sonia Huang: Real Business and Real Competition in the Unreal World - Jia Dai: Virtual Worlds, Real Brands: A Critical Interrogation of Commodification in Second Life - Peter Spangler/James Morgan: Toward a Democratic Theory of Synthetic Worlds - Paul Hollins/Sarah Robbins: The Educational Affordances of Multi User Virtual Environments - Dustin Harp: Virtual Journalism and Second Life.