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Demographics of Virtual Worlds

, University of Texas at Austin

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research Volume 1, Number 2, ISSN 1941-8477 Publisher: Journal of Virtual Worlds Research


Virtual worlds, as both a concept and an industry, has changed radically over the past 10 years, from a toy for the technological elite, to an over-hyped marketing phenomenon, to a needed reexamination of the uses and utility of virtual world technologies and experiences, as provided in this paper. Within academia there are a number of issues that require further examination. The academic community appears to be divided into four camps: 1. those who embrace virtual worlds; 2. those who ignore the shifting use of technology; 3. those who are aware but have not yet explored the technology; and 4. those who are entirely unaware that virtual worlds exist. There is an overwhelming focus of research, publications and funding on a single virtual world: Second Life, which does not serve more than a fraction of the entire population utilizing virtual worlds or similar technologies. An overview of the size, shape and forms of virtual worlds may have a positive impact on both of these issues. This paper presents an in-depth survey and analysis of virtual worlds and related technologies.


Spence, J. (2008). Demographics of Virtual Worlds. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, 1(2),. Journal of Virtual Worlds Research. Retrieved October 22, 2018 from .


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Cited By

  1. Revitalizing Second Life for Interdisciplinary Learning

    Reneta Lansiquot, New York City College of Technology, The City University of New York, United States; Tamrah Cunningham, The Game Center, New York University, United States; Zianne Cuff, New York City College of Technology, The City University of New York, United States

    Global Learn 2016 (Apr 28, 2016) pp. 333–336

  2. Learning Geosciences in Virtual Worlds: Engaging Students in Real-World Experiences

    Reneta Lansiquot, Janet Liou-Mark & Reginald Blake, New York City College of Technology, United States

    Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2014 (Mar 17, 2014) pp. 658–664

  3. Virtual Worlds – Taxonomy and Demographics

    Steve Downey, University of South Florida, United States

    E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2010 (Oct 18, 2010) pp. 1676–1685

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