3.6. Virtual social worlds.

Virtual social worlds are the second group of Virtual worlds let the users create avatars more freely and let them live a life that could be more similar to their real lives. The users still interact in a three-dimensional virtual environment, but there are no specific rules to the extent of possible interactions except for the physical law, like gravity. This allow the users or “residents” a unlimited range of self-presentation strategies, and it has been shown that high use of the Virtual social worlds often can lead to behavior seen in real life environment. The application Second Life is the most remarkable example of Virtual social worlds, they can do everything one can do in real life (speaking to other avatars, taking a walk, enjoining virtual sunshine), in addition to that they allow the users to create content (design virtual clothing or furniture) and then sell the items to other avatars in exchange of Linden Dollars (Linden Dollars = virtual currency traded against the U.S. Dollar on the Second Life Exchange). Some of the users are so successful in this assignment that they make money out of it in real life. Virtual social worlds offer a lot of opportunities for companies in marketing, human resource and internal process management.


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