Not a virtual world but contains many similarities regarding identity.
You create a character, an avatar, who can partake in exciting activities that you can't, in a different setting than real life. </li></ul>
Limitations <ul><li>There was no world wide web, in PnP roleplaying you can only interact with the other people around the table with you.
Worth noting that these PnP roleplaying games are now played over the internet, through forums and IRC (Internet Relay Chat) as well as with other software packages. </li></ul>
Multi User Dungeons <ul><li>The first Virtual Worlds
Borrow heavily from the mechanics of pen and paper roleplaying games but are multiplayer, utilising the internet.
The player creates a character who becomes their online identity. </li></ul>
Modern Virtual Worlds <ul><li>Advances in technology allowed for 3D graphics in games and paved the way for Virtual Worlds and MMORPGs like Second Life and Ultimate Online.
These games were originally referred to as graphical MUDs which is a clear show of their heritage. </li></ul>
Importance of 3d Environment <ul><li>Early MUDs were limited by their text only nature, it may be difficult for someone to immerse themselves without visual aids.
Modern 3D games and Virtual Worlds allow you to see the world your avatar is in, and experience it in full 360 with less limitations. It gives you more of a sense of belonging, of Immersion.
Feeling immersed is probably the most important influence on creating an ingame identity. </li></ul>
Immersion and Realism <ul><li>A game that takes place far in the future, in a Sci-fi setting can't claim much realism and may present boundaries for immersion.
Games such as EVE-Online do have authentic aspects that are built on real life constructs. Perhaps the most well known example of this is the player driven economy. These mirror real life with the intricacies of supply and demand, with players being capable of gaining all of the ingame currency they need simply by playing the markets. </li></ul>
Virtual Identity <ul><li>Bartle (2004) claims that playing in a virtual world involves blurring the line between your real self and your virtual identity.
He claims that you aren't roleplaying your avatar but actually become the avatar. </li></ul>
Augmented Reality <ul><li>There are projects that focus on blurring the lines between virtual worlds and reality already.
The aim of these is to enhance our normal lives through the use of an augmented reality, with devises such as glasses with HUDs (Heads up displays) that would display information such as temperature, compass and maybe even direct us where to go.
We'd not only be known by our virtual identity online, but also in real life as people could pull up our virtual identity simply by looking at us. </li></ul>
The Implications of Future Technology <ul><li>The implications of this technology could be immense as our virtual and real identities become much more blurred, at some point perhaps they will merge entirely. The difference between Augmentationists and Immersionists would become irrelevant and we would likely need to devise new terms to describe what would happen. </li></ul>
Social Networking <ul><li>The growth of technology makes privacy harder to contain, it won't be as easy to keep different identities apart from each other. This can already be seen through social networking like Facebook who have realised the problems and have made a move to give you greated control over who sees what. In a way, this facilitates the creation of different identities and allows you to choose how different people see you, even in real life. </li></ul>
The Technology Singularity <ul><li>Various Futurists predict that sometime in the future (during the 21 st century) there'll be a point that we artificially produce greater than human intelligence and that this will lead to an explosion in the development of new technology.
The nature of a Singularity makes it difficult to predict anything past the event, but it paints the picture of a future where, as far as virtual worlds will be concerned, maybe anything will be possible. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>The idea of maintaining seperate identities has long existed but technology allows it to become a greater part of us.
It's difficult to know what future advancements will bring but its safe to say that our identities will become more fluid and blurred, and that we may take more control over ourselves. I personally think this can only be a good thing, and it would lead to greater confidence as a reuslt of more personal control. </li></ul>