Virtual W ldVi t l Worlds as anInnovative Collaboration Media forDistributed WorkMarko Hakonen | Project Manager of VIIWE -Virtual Worldsas Innovative Working Environments projectA work i progress i collaboration with k in in ll b i ihPetra Bosch-Sijtsema, Johanna Haapamäki and Anu Sivunen
Motivation• Based on findings of review by Sivunen & Hakonen (In press). Review of Virtual Environment Studies on Social and Group Phenomena. Small Group Research. – Lack of research in professional settings academic and practical novelty• Virtual worlds (VWs) could be an emerging media for distributed di t ib t d workk – Fun is not opposite to serious work (Reeves & Read, 2009)!
Research Question and DefinitionRQ: How virtual worlds can support innovative collaboration process in distributed work?Definition:D fi iti By innovative collaboration in VW we mean new or improved ways of collaboration that takes place in a 3D virtual environment.
Methods1. Literature review on VW collaboration and on innovation and creativity in VWs (41 articles) • The references to distributed work are often indirect2.2 Interviews (N = 47) of company representatives using VWs plus VW vendors and experts • Analyzed from the viewpoint of use in distributed work• This presentation: Comparison of current literature claims (empirical or speculative) vs. our interview vs data.
Model 1. Psychological and behavioral enablers of innovative collaboration 3. Forms of innovative collaboration 2. Technological features as enablers of innovative collaboration
1.1 Psychological and BehavioralEnablers of Innovative Collaboration
Psychological Processes Literature Interviews • Immersion, engagement and • “It almost feels magical when two co-presence are necessary for people are placed in a virtual room, successful VW collaboration. they seem to lose all sense of (e.g., Helms et al., 2010; Reeves & Read, 2009; everything around them.” Sallnäs, 2005) • “You can build trust faster [in VW] You • Avatar based collaboration than in a telephone call and, in increases trust and is related to part, that’s because each of us can positive attitudes. (e.g., Bente et al., see the actions of each other.” 2008; Hindmarsh et al., 2006; Diehl & Prins, 2008) • “They may pay attention a little bit more and are not multitasking.” • Avatars based interaction lowered barriers f people t t lk to b i for l to talk t strangers.Match and enrichment: Collaboration in VW was seen to inhibit multitasking. Psychological safety can help people in distributed collaboration. collaboration
Behavior – Proxemics as a SignalLiterature Interviews• Non-verbal communication has • Not found in interviews! a strong potential to enhance interaction. (Antonijevic, 2008)• Persons hold an interpersonal distance that is typical for them in real life also between avatars and distance signals e.g., liking or prejudice. (Bailenson et al., 2003; j di Bailenson et al., 2008; Yee et al., 2007; Dotsch & Wigboldus, 2008) Mismatch: Personal space, which affects proxemics was hard to be conscious of. Moreover, persons are not as good at perceiving their behavior as their feelings. p g g
2.2 Technological Enablers of InnovativeCollaboration
AvatarsLiterature Interviews• Avatar-task alignment • VENDORS: “So for business, a enhances t k performance. h task f virtual b i i t l business meeting, ti (Teigland et al., 2010) people try to dress their avatar• Possibilities to manipulate according to the type of avatars has p positive effects on situations.” “The more realistic creativity. (Ward and Sonneborn, 2009) it looks to what you actually• Avatars that are similar to look in real life, the better it is.” people are liked. (Bailenson & Yee, • “Sometimes the avatar is 2005;Nowak & Rauh, 2005; Yee & Rauh completely i l l t l irrelevant.” t” Bailenson, 2009)• Avatar customization is the way • “I wanted to display my Celtic to shape one’s virtual identity. heritage … I use kilt.” (Talamo & Ligorio, 2001) Mixed: Alignment and liking aspects were mostly confirmed by VW vendors. Some users considered avatar appearance as trivial and pp some used it to build their virtual identity.
Import of 3D ObjectsLiterature Interviews• Useful for collaborative design. • “You create this 3D (Gu and Tsai, 2010) Tsai representation of th d t and t ti f the data d• Becomes more important as you have the team of experts VWs develop. (Ahma-aho et al., 2011 from around the globe, their = next presentation) avatars are there, and then , they walk around the 3D image and they say, what is this over here…” • VW environment can help t i t h l to visualize models, drawings, objects, and data in 3D which is more difficult when using more traditional media for distributed work. Match of growing importance. importance
Physical Clues Help CollaborationLiterature Interviews• The potential of VWs to embed • For professional distributed a shared place with symbolic collaboration, the security and meaning (e.g., seating) makes authentication of people in the them superior to other remote- VW were necessities in order to synchronous collaboration h ll b ti work together: “Y know, you kt th “You k platforms. (Larach and Cabra, 2010) meet there with your company• Personalization of environment names [above avatars]. People work experience enhances k i h are much more confident ” confident… creativity and make each person’s own experience more engaging. (Ward S engaging (W d & Sonneborn, 2009) bPartial match and enrichment: The symbolic meaning was not strongly perceived and personalization was related to security security.
Co-creation Literature Interviews • Visual, auditory and haptic • “Concurrent activity allows cues and b tt social d better i l people t feed off of each l to f d ff f h presence make VWs better other. And that’s really where platforms of co-creation than the productivity—or the old tools (Kohler et al.,, 2009;; Teigland et ( g creativity in a brainstorming y g al., 2010) session comes from.” • Playful elements of VWs • “Teams create things, leave contribute to creativity (Kohler, them, and then expect them to Füller, Stieger, & Matzler, 2010) be b modified b th next t difi d by the t team who’s going to come along and modify them and play with them and leave them. This is a new team practice.”Partial match and enrichment: Cues are not seen as so crucial as in literature and also asynchronous co-creation was emphasized co creation emphasized.
TrainingLiterature Interviews• Major reason for using VWs: • “I’m going to be presenting, and e.g. new recruits are trained in this is really hard to do. And VWs by current and retired then they were getting employees (e.g., Pollitt, 2007) feedback that was right away.• Simulations are used in training They Th wanted to try over and t dt t d medicine, history and cross- over and over again.” cultural skills (Protopsaltis et al., 2010; • Many notions of benefits of Zielke et al., 2009) al VWs i VW in medical and accident di l d id t• 3D multiplayer games teach simulations that couldn’t be business skills (O’Connor & Menaker, done in real life (e.g., fire in oil- 2008; Reeves et al., 2008; Reeves & Read, ; , ; , 2009) drilling rig – shore and off shore off-shore distribution). Partial match: Gaming was not (yet) acknowledged acknowledged.
Small and Large Meetings etc…Literature Interviews• Not dominant trends in the VW • Many saw the benefits of VWs literature! lit t ! in meetings without limitations due to time-zones, geographical boundaries or burdens and costs of t b d d t f traveling. li • “We’ve used VWs within our big annual meeting. We set up a bi meeting space so that big ti th t people could with people they hadn’t connected with through the year ” year. • Used for knowledge sharing and as a knowledge repository. Major enrichments to the VW literature!
Expanded Model of InnovativeDistributed VW Collaboration 1. Psychological and behavioral y g enablers of innovative collaboration • Immersion, engagement and co-presence 3. Forms of innovative collaboration are important but so is psychological safety • Different cues were not seen as so crucial • Trust can develop in VWs better than with more for co-creation as in the literature traditional tools • Both synchronous asynchronous co-creation • However, proxemic behaviors were not were emphasized. seen as signals • Training and simulation are majors drives for distributed workers to use VWs but lessons from 3D games were not acknowledged. • Literature has not discussed as much the benefits of VWs in distributed meetings,2. Technological features as enablers of in organizing large events and in the use ofinnovative collaboration VWs in knowledge storing and sharing as• Avatars were modified for virtual identity purposes our interviewees did did.but they were not seen as important as in the literature• Import of 3D objects will be increasingly important• The symbolic meaning of physical clues wasnot so strongly stressed as in the literature• VW personalization was related to security.
Future Directions• There are numerous potential benefits of VWs for innovative distributed collaboration!• M More research i di t ib t d work settings i needed h in distributed k tti is d d• This is possible when more companies use VWs• The major obstacles to wider VW use are technological problems, such as adaptation, usability and safety (Bosch-Sijtsema & Sivunen, In review)• More about VW platforms in next presentation!