Virtual Places

You see a scrap of yellowing parchment pasted onto a wall. It says,
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).

Virtual Places in Usenet News

Many (most?) virtual places are text-based; effectively shared worlds in which people set short stories and shared conversations. Examples include such newsgroups as alt.callahans ( WWW info here) and ( WWW info here and here). I'm known in those parts as the Mandelbear.

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">GeoCities <a">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 Places''.

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.
OUTPOSTS on the Electronic Frontier
``International, National, Regional & Local Groups Supporting the Online Community''

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