Avatars and Agents in Virtual Systems

Recently, Internet-based, 3D virtual reality has been proposed as an emerging and promising learning platform to support a variety of education activities. Virtual reality (VR; aka virtual worlds and virtual systems) is a computer-generated 3D representation of real-life environments. As Peter Mitchell and colleagues argued, users can autonomously navigate around a VR (in the form of graphical representations of themselves, known as avatars) and interact with simulated objects and other avatars in real time at the same pace they would experience similar events in the real world. VR is open ended in that people in VR can design and create the world, its objects, and their behaviors. Representative examples of 3D virtual reality or virtual world applications are ActiveWorlds, Second Life, and OpenSimulator.

The educational activities ...

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