Journal of Virtual Worlds Research
The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is an online, open access academic journal that adheres to the highest standards of peer review and engages established and emerging scholars from anywhere in the world. The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is a transdisciplinary journal that engages a wide spectrum of scholarship and welcomes contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that intersect virtual worlds research. The field of virtual worlds research is a continually evolving area of study that spans across many disciplines and the JVWR editorial team looks forward to engaging a wide range of creative and scholarly work.
What are virtual worlds and what is virtual worlds research, within the context of this journal? These are evolving questions that we hope the formation of a community of scholarship will explore and expand. However, to provide a base to build upon, we consider virtual worlds to be computer-based simulated environment where users interact with other users through graphic or textual representations of themselves utilizing textual chat, voice, video or other forms of communication. The term virtual worlds includes, is similar to, or is synonymous (with extensive qualifications) to the terms of virtual reality, virtual space, datascape, metaverse, virtual environment, massively multiplayer online games (MMOs or MMOGs), massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs), multi-user dungeon, domain or dimension (MUDs), MUD object oriented (MOOs), multi-user shared hack, habitat, holodeck, or hallucination (MUSHs), massively-multiuser online graphical environments, collaborative virtual environments (CVEs) or multi-user virtual environments (MUVES), and immersive virtual environments (IVEs).
We see the current predominance of the virtual worlds of Second Life and its competitors as the most recent iteration of a long lineage of developments in virtual reality and gaming both in terms of technologies and conceptualization. Finally, we do not pretend to be a gaming journal, and hope that through this forum we are contributing to the development of specific space within the scholarly and creative communities for discourse on the wide variety of topic areas that are involved in virtual worlds research, including history of virtual worlds, cultural and social theory, quantitative research, qualitative research, virtual ethnographies, pedagogy, education and virtual worlds, development, experimentation, ideas and the intersection of virtual worlds and society.