Virtual societies

Figure 1.12: Virtual societies develop through interacting avatars that meet in virtual worlds that are maintained on a common server. A snapshot from Second Life is shown here.

Whereas telepresence makes us feel like we are in another part of the physical world, VR also allows us to form entire societies that remind us of the physical world, but are synthetic worlds that contain avatars connected to real people. Figure 1.12 shows a Second Life scene in which people interact in a fantasy world through avatars; such experiences were originally designed to view on a screen but can now be experienced through VR. Groups of people could spend time together in these spaces for a variety of reasons, including common special interests, educational goals, or simply an escape from ordinary life.

Steven M LaValle 2016-12-31