Abstract

A text-based networked virtual environment represents to a user a system of rooms joined by exits and entrances. When navigating this system of rooms, a user can communicate in real time with other connected users occupying the same room. Hence, these virtual environments are aptly suited for networked conferencing and teaching. Anecdotal information suggested that some people feel a sense of “being there” or presence when connected to one of these environments. To determine how many people feel this sense of presence, we surveyed 207 people from 6 different groups of users of text-based networked virtual environments. The results indicated that 69% of these subjects felt a sense of presence. Experiments with people in text-based networked virtual environments may be helpful in understanding the contribution to presence by social interaction in other virtual environments.

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