Issue II

II 06 cover

Virtual Environments

Volume: 2006, No.II

Date: April 2006

Guest Editors: Jesús Ibáñez-Martínez, Carlos Delgado-Mata and Ruth Aylett

Contents: Download full issue (PDF 2.4MB)

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Virtual Environments

There are many definitions of the expression virtual environment (VE) in literature (in this monograph the terms virtual environment, environment, virtual world and world will be used indistinctly). Some definitions are highly restrictive while others are more open. Generally the restrictive approaches define virtual environments as three-dimensional (3D), multi-sensorial, immersive, real time and interactive simulations of a space that can be experienced by users via three-dimensional input and output devices. The more open approaches to virtual environments define them as a computer representation of a space. According to the latter definition, a text-based role-playing environment would be a virtual environment.

In this monograph, a virtual environment is considered to be somewhere in the continuum between those two extremes. We would define it as a three-dimensional computer representation of a space in which users can move their viewpoint freely in real time. We therefore consider that the following cases, among others, are virtual environments: 3D multi-user chats (such as Active Worlds, the Palace, etc.), first person 3D videogames (such as Quake, Unreal Tournament, etc.) and 3D virtual spaces in the web (such as those created with VRML, Adobe Atmosphere, FlatLand 3DML, etc.). There is no unified definition of virtual environments. This is partly due to the fact that they have been used (and they have proved to be useful) in a variety of fields such as videogames, interactive narrative and collaborative environments, to mention just a few. Virtual environments are already being used in the present and will play a very important role in a number of different media in the future.

The UPgrade European NETwork section also includes a paper from the Cyprus Computer Society's publication, Pliroforiki, about bio-informatics.


The following papers are included in this issue:

  • Open Source Tools for Virtual Environments: OpenSG and VRJuggler by Dirk Reiners
  • Methods and Tools for Designing VR Applications for The Internet by Frederic Kleinermann
  • Virtual Environments and Semantics by Jesús Ibáñez-Martínez and Carlos Delgado-Mata
  • Tracking The Evolution of Collaborative Virtual Environments by Rubén Mondéjar-Andreu, Pedro García-López, Carles Pairot-Gavaldà and Antonio F. Gómez-Skarmeta
  • A Quick Look at the Videogame Industry - Technology and Future Challenges by Daniel Torres-Guízar
  • Creating Three-Dimensional Animated Characters: An Experience Report and Recommendations of Good Practice by Michael Nischt, Helmut Prendinger, Elisabeth André and Mitsuru Ishizuka
  • Interactive Digital Storytelling: Automatic Direction of Virtual Environments by Federico Peinado-Gil