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Virtual World, Defined from a Technological Perspective, and Applied to Video Games, Mixed Reality and the Metaverse
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4065-5322
(English)In: International Journal of Computer Games Technology, ISSN 1687-7047, E-ISSN 1687-7055Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

There is no generally accepted definition for a virtual world, with many complimentary terms and acronyms having emerged implying a virtual world. Advances in systems architecture techniques such as, host migration between instances, mobile ad-hoc networking, and distributed computing, bring in to question whether those architectures can actually support a virtual world. Without a concrete definition, controversy ensues and it is problematic to design an architecture for a virtual world. Several researchers provided a definition but aspects of each definition are still problematic and simply can not be applied to contemporary technologies. The approach of this article is to sample technologies using grounded theory, and obtain a definition for a ‘virtual world’ that is directly applicable to technology. The obtained definition is compared with related work and used to classify advanced technologies, such as: a pseudo-persistent video game, a MANet, Virtual and Mixed Reality, and the Metaverse. The results of this article include: a break down of which properties set apart the various technologies; a definition that is validated by comparing it with other definitions; an ontology showing the relation of the different complimentary terms and acronyms; and, the usage of pseudo-persistent to categories those technologies which only mimic persistence.

Keyword [en]
Virtual World, definition, Video Games, Mixed Reality, Metaverse, MANets, persistence
National Category
Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121480OAI: diva2:858860
Available from: 2015-10-05 Created: 2015-10-05 Last updated: 2016-09-19
In thesis
1. Distributed Technology-Sustained Pervasive Applications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Distributed Technology-Sustained Pervasive Applications
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Technology-sustained pervasive games, contrary to technology-supported pervasive games, can be understood as computer games interfacing with the physical world. Pervasive games are known to make use of ‘non-standard input devices’ and with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), pervasive applications can be expected to move beyond games. This dissertation is requirements- and development-focused Design Science research for distributed technology-sustained pervasive applications, incorporating knowledge from the domains of Distributed Computing, Mixed Reality, Context-Aware Computing, Geographical Information Systems and IoT. Computer video games have existed for decades, with a reusable game engine to drive them. If pervasive games can be understood as computer games interfacing with the physical world, can computer game engines be used to stage pervasive games? Considering the use of non-standard input devices in pervasive games and the rise of IoT, how will this affect the architectures supporting the broader set of pervasive applications? The use of a game engine can be found in some existing pervasive game projects, but general research into how the domain of pervasive games overlaps with that of video games is lacking. When an engine is used, a discussion of, what type of engine is most suitable and what properties are being fulfilled by the engine, is often not part of the discourse. This dissertation uses multiple iterations of the method framework for Design Science for the design and development of three software system architectures. In the face of IoT, the problem of extending pervasive games into a fourth software architecture, accommodating a broader set of pervasive applications, is explicated. The requirements, for technology-sustained pervasive games, are verified through the design, development and demonstration of the three software system architectures. The scaling up of the architecture to support distributed pervasive applications, is based on research in the domain of Virtual Worlds and IoT. The results of this dissertation are: the aligning of the Pervasive Games research domain with that of Virtual Worlds, the mapping of virtual time and space to physical counterparts, the scaling up of pervasive games to distributed systems, and the explication of the problem of incorporating IoT into pervasive applications. The implication of this dissertation is to ensure that pervasive games are not left reinventing existing technologies.

Abstract [sv]

Teknikförmedlade verklighetsspel (technology-sustained pervasive games), i motsats till teknikstödda verklighetsspel (technology-supported pervasive games), kan förstås som dataspelets gränssnitt mot den fysiska världen. Verklighetsspel games är kända för att använda sig av ‘icke-standardiserade inmatningsenheter’ och med ökningen av Sakernas Internet (Internet of Things) (IoT), kan verklighetsapplikationer (pervasive applications) förväntas gå längre än verklighetsspel. Denna avhandling omfattar krav- och utvecklingfokuserad (Design Science) forskning för distribuerad teknik omfattande verklighetsspel, som innehåller kunskap från områdena distribuerad databehandling (Distributed Computing), blandad realitet (Mixed Reality), kontextmedveten databehandling, geografiska informationssystem och IoT. Dataspel har funnits i decennier, ofta med en återanvändbar spelmotor för att driva dem. Om verklighetsspel kan förstås som dataspel med gränssnitt mot den fysiska världen, kan då dataspelsmotorer användas för att iscensätta verklighetsspel? Med tanke på användningen av ickestandardiserade inmatningsenheter i verklighetsspel och den tilltagande mängde IoT tillämpningar, hur kommer detta att påverka arkitekturen som stöder verklighetsspel? Användningen av en konventionell spelmotor kan återfinnas i vissa befintliga verklighetsspelsprojekt, men mer generell forskning om hur verklighetsspel överlappar med konventionella dataspel saknas. När en konventionell dataspelsmotor används, är en diskussion om vilken typ av motor som är mest lämplig och vilka egenskaper uppfylls av motorn ofta inte en del av diskursen. Denna avhandling använder flera iterationer av metodramverket för design vetenskap (method framework for Design Science) för konstruktion och utveckling av tre mjukvarusystemarkitekturer. Med tanke på IoT utarbetas problemet att utvidga verklighetsspel till en fjärde mjukvaruarkitektur som kan tillmötesgå en bredare uppsättning av verklighetsapplikationer. Kraven för teknikförmedlade verklighetsspel verifieras genom design, utveckling och demonstration av tre mjukvarusystemarkitekturer. Uppskalning av arkitekturen för att stödja distribuerade verklighetsspel är baserad på forskning inom området för virtuella världar och IoT. Resultaten från avhandlingen är: anpassning av forskningsområdet verklighetsspel med forskningsområdet virtuella världar, metod för matchning av virtuell tid och utrymme till fysiska motsvarigheter, uppskalning av verklighetsspel till distribuerade system, och utarbetning av problemen med att införliva IoT in verklighetsapplikationer. Innebörden av denna avhandling är att se till att implementeringen av verklighetsspel inte leder till att man återuppfinner redan existerande teknik.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2016. 64 p.
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-016
pervasive, games, engine, distributed, virtual, world, internet of things
National Category
Computer Science
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-129151 (URN)978-91-7649-277-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-13, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Submitted. Paper 6: Submitted. Paper 7: Submitted.

Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-04-15 Last updated: 2016-05-23Bibliographically approved

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