Virtual Worlds: Concepts, Applications and Future Directions

Liz Falconer (Editor)
Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, U.K.

Mari Carmen Gil Ortega (Editor)
University of the West of England, Bristol, U.K.

Series: Computer Science, Technology and Applications
BISAC: COM014000



Volume 10

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Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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Virtual Worlds: Concepts, Applications and Future Directions explores the rich and fascinating topic of virtual worlds by bringing together research findings and discussion pieces from an international group of leading practitioners in the field. There are many different definitions of virtual worlds, but they all share the characteristic of enabling real-time interaction between users who are present in these worlds in the form of avatars, i.e., digital projections of ourselves into virtual environments. A particular theme of the book is how our activities in virtual worlds continue to develop our understanding of the nature of virtual experience, and particularly what it means to be digitally human. These ideas are explored from a diverse and engaging range of perspectives that include archaeology, languages, teacher training, computing, meditation and well-being, forensic science, performance art and artificial intelligence.

Each chapter provides an in-depth discussion and analysis, and practical examples of successful implementations of virtual world technologies are also included. The book will be invaluable to researchers and practitioners in the fields of virtual worlds, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence. It presents evidence, discussion and advice on some of the underpinning concepts relating to virtuality, on the application of virtual technologies to our daily lives, and encourages us to ponder the possible futures of these types of technology.


Chapter 1. Phenomenology and Phenomenography in Virtual Worlds: An Example from Archaeology
(Liz Falconer, PhD and Curie Scott, Centre for Excellence in Learning, Bournemouth University, Dorset, UK)

Chapter 2. Fuelling Innovation: Virtual Worlds in Research
(Lisa A. Laxton and Laura L. Downey, PhD, Infinite Metaverse Alliance LLC, Fairfax, VA, USA, and others)

Chapter 3. We Have a Situation, Coventry!
(Katherine Wimpenny, PhD and Helen Varley Jamieson,Disruptive Media Learning Lab, Coventry University, Coventry, UK, and others)

Chapter 4. Low Empathising and High Systemising Tendencies in Higher Education Computing Students: The Affordances of Virtual Worlds in Their Education
(Janice Castle, PhD, Department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

Chapter 5. Foreign Language Teaching and Learning in Virtual Worlds: The Construct of Affordance
(Susanna Nocchi, PhD, School of Languages, Law and Social Science, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland)

Chapter 6. Forensic Science in a Virtual World
(Carolyn Morton, PhD, Department of Forensic, Analytical and Chemical Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

Chapter 7. Shifting Pedagogies: Embedding Virtual Worlds in Teaching and Learning
(Lisa Jacka, PhD, School of Education, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW, Australia)

Chapter 8. Flexible Learning: An International Community of Practice for Educators in a Virtual World Setting
(Mari Carmen Gil Ortega, PhD, Education Innovation Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

Chapter 9. The Move to Open Source Virtual Environments: Burgeoning Opportunities for Academics and Scientists
(Eileen A. O’Connor, PhD, Jelia Domingo, PhD, Department of Education, Empire State College, State University of New York, New York, USA)

Chapter 10. Virtual Humans in Virtual Worlds?
(Maggi Savin-Baden, PhD, David Burden, and Roy Bhakta, Institute of Education, University of Worcester, Worcester, UK, and others)


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