Fostering Team Creativity in Virtual Worlds

Pekka Alahuhta, Emma Nordbäck, Anu Sivunen, Teemu Surakka


This article addresses the potential of virtual worlds as a platform for creative team collaboration. The proliferation of geographically distributed teams, striving towards innovative results, calls for ICT that support team creativity. Three-dimensional virtual worlds represent such an emergent and rapidly developing collaboration tool. A systematic literature review was conducted to reveal the affordances of virtual worlds contributing towards team creativity.

The results of the literature review reveal eight proposed affordances relevant for virtual worlds to foster team level creativity. Avatars (1) allow the team members to express themselves and their insights and point out information to others. Changing the users’ frame of reference (2) embraces the virtual world’s potential as a context for creative action. Perceived feeling of co-presence (3) within the team members, and user’s own experience of immersion (4), contributes towards engaging creative team collaboration. Multimodality (5) and rich visual information (6) facilitate communication between team members. Finally, virtual worlds allow teams to modify the collaboration environment to simulate a new kind of reality (7), and offer a selection of supporting tools (8) that can be utilized in the creative collaboration.

Departures for further research efforts and insights for practitioners engaged in virtual world collaboration are presented.


Creativity; Team; Avatars; virtual worlds

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