What are Virtual World?
Virtual worlds are the artificially created environment that is shared by multiple participants allowing them to feel and interact with one another. These are imitations of real world scenarios. In the recent past computers have introduced us to virtual worlds.
Virtual worlds are interactive communities where people are linked by living as an Avatar in a computer based world. People select their character and then control their interaction with others in the three dimensional 3D world. They have freedom from choosing their characters to the outlooks and clothes. It is an opportunity to build and operate a fantasy life. People can interact virtually in a similar way as they do in the real world.
The avatars created are like humans. It is the user’s choice to customize the avatar as their look alike or an entirely new personality. They get to know each other via text based conversation as well as through 2D or 3D virtual experience. In a virtual world characters can do activities together just like companions do in the real world. It is very close to reality except that the characters are digital.
An eminent use of virtual worlds is in business communications. Benefit is that avatars and the background sounds create an atmosphere that is less fatiguing for the attendees. Enterprise hosts control the meeting and give permissions like who can speak and what decorum is to be maintained. Many businesses are now creating business based virtual world’s e.g. Second Life. Business worlds have stricter protocols but are highly interactive.
How Virtual World are taking up Real Worlds
There is also a darker side to this piece of attraction. The potential dangers and threats include users spending more of their time in the virtual world rather than in the real world. They have become sociopaths and have totally lost interest in one on one conversation. Imagine two people sitting together physically but they are mentally in two different virtual worlds…
It has shattered their confidence to face larger groups and they now feel awkward in communities and groups. As a result they are failures in their real life relationships. Youngsters’ most favorite present nowadays is buying Xbox, Playstation or enjoying themselves using Microsoft Xbox. They can spend endless time over games. Their lives, food, education and careers are at stake due to this addiction. Some games are nurturing emotions of violence, hate and depression.
Instead of facing reality and as an escape from their real life they prefer to stay in the fantasy world. Virtual worlds offer secret fantasies that keep them engaged. However, as addiction becomes worse may lead them to lose their true life goals, often people are seen quitting their jobs and education thus ruining their bright careers.
Some worst kinds of dangers and threats lurk. Strangers that meet on the virtual platform may have been serial killers and put people to death or looted innocent lives. Many children have fallen in the trap too.
Virtual worlds are persistent and highly interactive. These help users socialize and study human nature. These are often terms as digital worlds.
All virtual worlds hold the qualities of persistence and interactivity. This permits the users to explore the inherent benefits of socialization and allows them to review attributes and users’ abilities. Virtual worlds nowadays are very similar to the real world and its proceedings.
Virtual worlds are categorized as:
- Entertainment Based Virtual Worlds
- Social Interactive Virtual worlds
Entertainment Based Virtual World:
It all began in the 1990’s with the emergence of multiplayer 3-D games. Gaming is done using avatars that are customized by the user. These virtual worlds are a piece of fiction, fantasy and are influenced by films and literature genres. Most common virtual worlds today are entertainment based.
Social Interactive Virtual World:
These were developed lately after the introduction of entertainment based virtual worlds. Their main target is social interaction, training, education over a simulated environment. Users encounter an open ended experience like exploration of new places, playing adventurous roles and sports, community discussions, attending meetings and lectures. This platform provides high ranking virtual opportunities. These are gaining popularity among businesses and military use.
Lack of Risk:
The risk factor separates the real world from virtual worlds. Though financial and emotional risks may be present to a certain extent. Experimentation can be carried out without potential risk to human life or property. Product testing can be done efficiently and so can financial simulations aid the business firms. In broader terms there is no possibility of physical harm, emotions bear an exception to the said rule.
With the introduction of new features and technologies the virtual world has become far more expensive but it is convincing. The difference between our real identity and our virtual characters is diminishing. Only the risk factor is distinguishing both worlds. If technology somehow gets successful in simulating physical sensations, physical risks may become a potential threat. In case of such a scenario, the real world and the virtual world become as if cut from the same cloth.
An opportunity or challenge?
Virtual reality will set up the protocols according to which humans can interact overall. If virtual worlds take up education, the entire system will be revolutionized in terms of effectiveness and cost cutting. The fields of health care can flourish at a rate far beyond imagination as medical testing, experimentation everything will be at no or little risk. Virtual worlds are a feeling. Virtual worlds offer value and they are immersive as everything is possible and can be a utopia, this term refers to making things and the world 100% perfect and ideal. Virtual worlds offer ever growing opportunities.
Virtual worlds have created promising opportunities and have put forward novel applications. 2D technology was limited somehow. The IT industry needs to adopt specific measures and setting standards in order to make virtual worlds safer by implementing standard rules and industry regulations. If given due attention within the next five years virtual worlds will improve for a range of personal and business applications.