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3D Virtual Worlds

Sean Goggins, Matthew Schmidt, Jesus Guajardo, Joi L. Moore

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Teams meet in 3D virtual worlds more frequently than ever before, yet the tools for evaluating 3D collaboration environments are underdeveloped. To close the 3D collaboration tool evaluation gap, the authors integrate lessons from the gaming industry and distributed work research. They develop two complementary approaches. First, the individual user’s perspective using eye-tracking (ET) is addressed, and second, the collaborative experience of the group using a technique called All-Views-Qualitative-Analysis (AVQA) is evaluated. The latter integrates the points-of-view of all subjects in a small group collaborating on a creative work task in a 3 dimensional virtual world. The authors show how these techniques enable evaluation of 3D environment design from the perspective of human computer interaction theory and theories related to distributed work. The paper discusses why designers should seek ways to leverage the advantages of 3D collaboration technologies and avoid recreating mirrors of physical space in these environments.