A virtual place is a region of Cyberspace that functions like a place in the ``real world''. It has a geography (which, however, may be fluid, changeable, inconsistent, and incomplete), and people can gather and interact there (not necessarily in real time).
Also see this article on the Nomads of the Net
Virtual Places in the Web
There are a number of sites on the Web that are ``place-like'' in that they
have a geography, but most are not interactive, i.e. you can't meet other
people there, carry on a conversation, etc. On the other hand, the Web itself
is very much like a Virtual Place.
The Contact Consortium HomePage (Contact, Culture and Community in Digital Space) is a good place to start. They're into VR and things like that.
<a hrefhttp:www.geocities.com">GeoCities <a hrefhttp:www.geocities.com">GeoCities is a web-site host set up as a virtual place. They give free home page space and e-mail addresses, and are supported by advertising and sponsorship.
I never got to explore WebWorld much, but it is or maybe was a Web-based VP. It has a Callahan's Dormitory. The biggest problem with WebWorld is that it takes forever to load the images.
the Starport in Cyberspace will eventually be a virtual place for science fiction fans; sort of a virtual SF convention.
The Castle of Anthony Thyssen is the home page of someone who has obviously put much thought into the problems of Creating a Web Castle or other place-like structure.
Ubique is a company that ``develops,
markets, and supports software for real-time communication on the World Wide
Web. Ubique's Virtual Places client/server architecture adds live human
presence to your Web site, enriching information publishing, commercial
enterprises, and virtual communities.'' They have a product called ``Virtual
Other Virtual Places
The various MU[whatever] universes were originally developed as
games--multi-user versions of things like
adventure. They are
starting to see some serious use as meetingplaces and even a college.
=== links when I get the chance ===
It is my contention that the entire Net is a Virtual Place. It is
sufficiently place-like as to be, in effect, an alternate universe,
in which magic works and such features of the ordinary universe as national
boundaries are irrelevant.