Virtual World Representation of Family Homes

  • William Sims BainbridgeEmail author
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


Over roughly the past quarter century, progress in computer graphics and the rise of Internet have facilitated public experimentation with online virtual environments where multiple people may congregate in the form of avatars, chiefly in the game industry but also in non-game environments like Second Life, where, for example, the author organized 30 grant proposal review panels for the National Science Foundation. The chapter begins with two sets of photographs taken in the 1940s, one documenting the interior of an apartment and the other the exterior of a rural house, the latter example by luck permitting construction of a 3-D stereographic image. With this background from the real world, the chapter then enters Second Life, investigating a virtual simulation of the rural house that is a conceptual representation, not visually identical to the original but functionally complex, for example allowing the user to watch a 1949 television program through a replica of the exact model television set the family bought in 1948. A visit to the Second Life simulation of the Roman fort in Britain named Vinovia shows how one constantly changing location may be simulated at different points in its history, and visiting Hotel Adlon in Berlin, during the 1920s, reveals how communities of enthusiasts are living portions of their current lives in an earlier historical period. The chapter concludes by showing how even some of the online games are historically valuable simulations, notably Lord of the Rings Online and Dark Age of Camelot.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Independent historianChantillyUSA

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