Real Places in Virtual Spaces

David Kolb


Real Places in Virtual Spaces.
We can distinguish geometrically defined or indicated areas of space from those areas of space where a structure of social norms gives special meaning to movements and actions. A courtroom, a restaurant, a corridor each have their appropriate norms that distinguish sub-areas and assign behaviors to them. We might call such areas places as opposed to mere areas of space that have no special significance. In this sense of the word place there are real places located in the virtual spaces within online games, conferencing systems, or mixed physical-virtual spaces. As with places in physical space, the value of places in virtual space depends on the detailed character of their spatiality, the way their textures fit with their social use, and on the complexity and humaneness of the actions guided by their social norms.

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