Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds

If you have access (it costs) the latest edition of Science has an article by William Sims Bainbridge The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds:

Online virtual worlds, electronic environments where people can work and interact in a somewhat realistic manner, have great potential as sites for research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences, as well as in human-centered computer science. This article uses Second Life and World of Warcraft as two very different examples of current virtual worlds that foreshadow future developments, introducing a number of research methodologies that scientists are now exploring, including formal experimentation, observational ethnography, and quantitative analysis of economic markets or social networks.

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