© 2016

Virtual Sociocultural Convergence

  • Provides a theoretical basis for human-centered computing in online virtual communities

  • Explores the convergence of the arts, humanities, social sciences, and information technology in understanding the global Internet revolution

  • Expands the methodologies for role-playing research, combining method acting, psychodrama, and avatar-based expression of fundamental principles

  • Achieves synergy of the past with the future, as classic social theory illuminates prophetic virtual worlds


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 1-24
  3. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 45-67
  4. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 69-91
  5. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 93-115
  6. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 117-139
  7. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 141-163
  8. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 165-185
  9. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 187-209
  10. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 211-235
  11. William Sims Bainbridge
    Pages 237-260

About this book


This book explores the remarkable sociocultural convergence in multiplayer online games and other virtual worlds, through the unification of computer science, social science, and the humanities. The emergence of online media provides not only new methods for collecting social science data, but also contexts for developing theory and conducting education in the arts as well as technology. Notably, role-playing games and virtual worlds naturally demonstrate many classical concepts about human behaviour, in ways that encourage innovative thinking. The inspiration derives from the internationally shared values developed in a fifteen-year series of conferences on science and technology convergence.

The primary methodology is focused on sending avatars, representing classical social theorists or schools of thought, into online gameworlds that harmonize with, or challenge, their fundamental ideas, including technological determinism, urban sociology, group formation, freedom versus control, class stratification, linguistic variation, functional equivalence across cultures, behavioural psychology, civilization collapse, and ethnic pluralism.

Researchers and students in the social and behavioural sciences will benefit from the many diverse examples of how both qualitative and quantitative science of culture and society can be performed in online communities of many kinds, even as artists and gamers learn styles and skills they may apply in their own work and play.


social computing human computer interaction computer games world of warfare role playing computer games multi-player online games

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.ArlingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
IT & Software