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date: 30 March 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the origin and early history of online virtual worlds that represent users as avatars. Failed and successful applications of early virtual worlds in meetings and tele-learning are examined to derive indicators for the future of this form of virtuality in which virtual worlds are mapped onto the real world, blended with data and users’ avatars to create a form of ubiquitous augmented reality. Finally, the relevance of the new medium of virtual worlds in the long scope of human history is considered.

Keywords: virtual worlds, avatars, virtual community, augmented reality, tele-learning

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