In the future, virtual environments will be increasingly used to socialize and collaborate. Further, they will be combined with other technologies for ‘being there together’ such as videoconferencing and for online interaction such as social networking sites. This lecture will give an overview of different types of shared virtual environments and how people interact in them. This includes virtual worlds like Second Life as well as immersive virtual reality environments.

Various aspects of interaction in these environments – navigation, communication, avatar appearance, and comparisons with real world interaction – will be analyzed. The lecture will argue that we can anticipate some of what the future of ‘being there together’ will look like, both technically and socially, and that we can use these insights to think about the social implications of new media more generally.

About the speakers