Chapter 4: Social Interaction

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This assignment asks you to evaluate how collaboration and communication is supported in a virtual world, such as Second Life or a MMORPG, such as World of Warcraft. Many of these have been around for a number of years now and so their interfaces have evolved through a number of versions, with new social functions being added. For example, interactint with others using speech, text or a combination of both. This expands the ways in which you can communicate, but also requires you understanding when best to use one or the other or both.

Similar to the assignment in Chapter 1, the aim is for you to develop and use a wider set of concepts, that go beyond saying, 'it was fun' or 'it was terrible because no-one talked to me'. It is also intended for you to analyse a number of social aspects, in relation to specific and general interaction design issues. It is important to see the connections between these three aspects, and not to answer them as separate sections. Your evaluation should also enable you to focus more deeply on some of the pertinent social issues that might be overlooked, if you were doing a straightforward usability evaluation.

You should also try to spend some time thinking about how the mode of interaction has been designed to support new forms of communication. Consider, too, the kind of conceptual model that underlies the virtual world.