Avatar Bodies and Virtual Spaces
This chapter describes the various kinds of spaces and types of avatar appearances in multi-user virtual environments. It charts how virtual worlds develop in terms of landscapes and the built environment. It also gives an account of how people find their way around in these spaces and how they interact with objects, including building things and owning them. People in large-scale virtual worlds develop social rules in relation to buildings and land, such as regulations relating to property ownership. The chapter discusses how different kinds of avatar bodies influence social interaction, and the difference between behavioral and representational realism. Finally, it discusses the debates about avatar realism, and how it may be that in many situations it may not be necessary to have realistic avatar representations.
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