The Growth and Direction of Healthcare Support Groups in Virtual Worlds

John Robert Norris

Abstract


What is the growth and direction of healthcare support groups grow in virtual worlds? Data was collected on over 300 groups from virtual worlds, Second Life, IMVU, There, and Kaneva. A collection of non-virtual world support groups was added. Similar categories of groups were found to be generally popular across worlds. The percentage of groups in categories of healthcare issues was also generally analogous between worlds. The long tail effect was shown- only a few groups had high populations. Group creation rate displayed generally similar growth between worlds. The worlds' demographics and features were suggested to account for differences. Limited data availability and vague definitions of groups and categories hampered analysis.

Keywords


Second Life, IMVU, There, Kaneva, Support Groups, Healthcare

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