IJSRP, Volume 5, Issue 4, April 2015 Edition [ISSN 2250-3153]
Virtual reality is simulated reality. Computers introduced us to the virtual world. In the virtual world one can assume any identity and no one will be the wiser. Such identities are called ‘avatars’. This is part of its attraction. But it also has its dangers. Many youngsters today live more in the virtual world than in the real world. This has made sociopaths out of some of them. They are so used to interacting with people in the virtual world that they no longer know how to interact with real people. Virtual worlds like Second Life are becoming important tools for, among other activities, socialization, social networking, entertainment, collaboration, and business development. These environments offer information systems researchers a unique opportunity to study how these environments are built and managed by operators, how they are used and misused by users, and the impact that they have on users, communities, organizations, and societies at large. The paper provides an introduction to this topic and offers a survey on virtual worlds based on insights offered by several academics and practitioners who are actively involved in building, managing, and using virtual worlds.