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The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds

Ying Li's picture

Recently, I have seen a quit interesting article as follow:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/317/5837/472?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=

&andorexacttitleabs=and&andorexactfulltext=and&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&volume=317&firstpage=472&resourcetype=HWCIT

 The Scientific Research Potential of Virtual Worlds

William Sims Bainbridge

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.

Division of Information and Intelligent Systems, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230, USA.

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