Time for a Post-Mortem?: Business Professionals’ Perspectives on the Disillusionment of Virtual Worlds

Patrick J. Bateman, Jacqueline C. Pike, Nicholas Berente, Sean Hansen

Abstract


Virtual worlds (VWs) are powerful three-dimensional technologies where users can assume identities and interact with others. While designed as open-platforms for creativity, expression, and experimentation by recreational users, VWs were once lauded for their potential applications to business. Today, much of the business community has either moved on from the hype of VWs or struggles to understand whether value can be obtained by using VWs. This paper attempts to provide an understanding of these outcomes through the analysis of assessments written by 59 business professionals, who each spent an extended period of time in a popular VW during the peak of the hype. From these assessments, four broad perspectives on the value of VWs to organizations (or lack thereof) were identified, along with challenges facing use of VWs if they are to become more widely used within business.

Keywords


virtual worlds; Second Life; business value; adoption; applications; benefits; challenges

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The full website for the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research can be found at: http://jvwresearch.org