Virtual worlds and social interaction design

This dissertation is a study of social interaction in virtual worlds and virtual world design. A virtual world is a synchronous, multi-user system that offers a persistent spatial environment for iconically represented participants. Together, these form an example of social interaction design. I have applied an arena perspective on my object of study, meaning that I focus on these socio-technical systems as places….


Prologue – Bill’s Story
Chapter One – Worlds Through Technology
Of keyboards, Women, Mice and Men
Through the Free Interaction Smoke Screen
Stepping Out
Graduating from the Scandinavian School
Approaching Virtual World Studies
Interlude One – Virtual Birth
Chapter Two – Virtual Worlds Defined
Stand by for the establishing shot
What is a Virtual World?
Synchronous or Micro-Asynchronous?
The Systems
The Projects
Interlude Two – Vicki’s Story
Chapter Three – Social Interaction Design Studies
A Model for Social Interaction Design Studies
Being There
The Arena Perspective
Addressing the Outside View
Making the Conceptual Shift
Capturing Net-Life
The Inside View: The Case of Everquest
Interaction Design Studies
Social and Technological Construction
Social Interaction Design Studies
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Interlude Three – Phrank’s Story
Chapter Four – Understanding Social Interaction in Virtual Worlds
Investigating the properties of social interaction
Social Vacuum?
Constructing Structures
Constructing Status
Constructing Identities
Constructing Bodies
Between Bodies
Technical Construction of Sociality
Weight ~ Levity
Distance ~ Proximity
From Equal to Social
Interlude Four – An Alpha World Travelogue
Chapter Five – Exploring Virtual World Design
Researchers grab your hammers
The Theory of Virtual World Design…..

Author: Jakobsson, Mikael

Source: Umea University

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