In recent years, the popularity of virtual worlds has increased significantly and they have consequently come under closer academic scrutiny. Papers about virtual worlds are typically published at conferences or in journals that specialize in something - tirely different, related to some secondary aspect of the research. Thus a paper d- cussing legal aspects of virtual worlds may be published in a law journal, while a psychologist's analysis of situation awareness may appear at a psychology conference. The downside of this is that if you publish a virtual worlds paper at an unrelated conference in this manner you are likely to be one of only a handful of attendees working in the area. You will not, therefore, achieve the most important goal of - tending conferences: meeting and conversing with like-minded colleagues from the academic community of your field of study. Virtual worlds touch on many well-established themes in other areas of science. Researchers from all these fields will therefore be looking at this new, interesting, and growing field.
However, to do effective research related to these complex constructs, researchers need to take into account many of the other facets from other fields that impact virtual worlds. Only by being familiar with and paying attention to all these different aspects can virtual worlds be properly understood.
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH & Co. KG