All of us imagine and wish to have things which are not possible in real life. Like expensive apartments, cars or vacation tours to places far out of our reach. There is a space called the virtual world, which is the next and growing level of virtual reality. In this world, all of the dreams can come true. Before moving ahead the reader can read our earlier article on virtual reality and on the below links to get a glimpse of virtual world –
A virtual world is a computer simulated environment which resembles that of a real world in terms of geography, economic & social structure. there are many characters which are played by individuals. They interact in a virtual environment created by the program. The environment and rules in a Virtual world have control with the program. But also have a significant amount of control in the hands of the user.
Virtual World features
As said above, It is the next level of Virtual reality and therefore games also. In it, a person can do much more than just having entertainment. There are even virtual world programs where an individual can make money by performing economic activities just as in the real world with limited resources – mainly time & money. Or virtual worlds where people can make friends, go on trips together, or can plan an activity together. To smaller level, it can have a use in interacting with peoples of different ethnicity, and learn or improve one’s social behavior. Therefore, it can also use for training & learning purposes.
The difference between it & already available 2 D programs is that the experience is more realistic & gives the satisfaction or feel as in the real world. Environments in the virtual world depend on the kind of world one is in & on the other players involved in that. The character in the virtual world can be synched with the real life. It depends on the platform or it used. For example “Handpoints” is a virtual world for children, in which children’s use the website to check their daily progress. Another is “Uniiverse” which is designed to reconnect people to the real world via virtual means. Users can post real life activities tasks in virtual world and gains on the experience later by discussing in real life.
Virtual World Identity
In a virtual world, the person uses different characters. These characters are generally known as “Avatar”, and resemble characters in any other players in online games. The only difference is, in a virtual world is that the character is more interactive & most of his traits are defined by the user. It is this identity & environment which makes it both compelling & addictive. It doesn’t use the real identity and thus maintains the anonymity of the person. This makes the individual free from social norms & user tends to do the activities which are not possible for him/her in the real world.
A person can choose a completely different character than he or she has in the real world & performs activities which he or she wants to but is not able to do in real life. Therefore enjoys more comfort in a Virtual World. It provides the participant a sense of freedom and acceptance. For a user, this can turn into both – a training tool to help in the real world. Or can become an addiction which will pull him/her further away from reality.
Good or Bad
How much the learning & activities of it will be useful in real life depends on the platform. The specifically designed virtual world for training purposes has such features. These programs are less in numbers and mostly have control with educational institutes. The other virtual worlds which are for entertainment purposes might lack this feature. And therefore, users of these programs will feel more distanced from real life and closer to a virtual world.
Uncontrolled or unregulated expansion of it can be dangerous. It can make youngsters more and more discontent with their real life & to the extremes can make them confused in the real & virtual worlds. They can completely lose their real identity and start living the life their virtual identity. Accidents related with blue whale game is an early warning.