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MUVE (plural MUVEs) refers to online, multi-user virtual environments, sometimes called virtual worlds. While this term has been used previously to refer to a generational change in MUDs, MOOs, and MMORPGs, it is most widely used to describe MMOGs that are not necessarily game-specific. The term was first used in Chip Morningstar's 1990 paper The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat. A number of the most popular and well-known MUVEs are listed below, although there are a number of others. Modern MUVEs have 3D third-person graphics, are accessed over the Internet, allow for some dozens of simultaneous users to interact, and represent a persistent virtual world.


Habitat (1987) and Club Caribe (1988) could be considered the first graphical MUVEs.

A multi user virtual environment is created in three steps. The first is a server or a farm of servers, which are used as the host of the virtual world. Second, a program or an interface is needed that allows people to create a user name and some sort of identity that they can use when they log into the server. The third is there has to be some reason for the person to want to be in the Virtual Environment.

When many users log into the environment at once the ability to communicate, interact and exchange information is what usually goes on. In Dieterle Clarke's research at Harvard University, he says that they enable users to 'access virtual contexts, interact with digital artifacts' use 'avatars' to represent themselves, communicate with other avatars, and to participate in situations that replicate the situations one experiences in the real world.

General strategy for making a virtual interface[edit]

First a computer and a plan are needed. There are designers that create an interface to make a virtual world without the knowledge of programing.[citation needed] Some include Autodesk's Maya, Virtual Home Space Builder and Internet3D Space Builder, Silicon Graphics Cosmo VRML 2.0, Truespace, and many others people will recommend.[1] These interfaces use VRML(Virtual Reality Modeling Languages) to create both the avatars for the world as well as the artifacts and environment.

Impact on the users in and out of the world[edit]

There has been bad connotations of online virtual games, that are not favorable. Some have been known to play for too long and become consumed in the game with no return. Others have been known as moderate hobbyists that spend a good portion of their free time in a virtual environment. In the modern changing world, the use of virtual worlds becomes more frequent. In 2009, there was an estimated 1.8 billion Internet users in the world potentially in a virtual environment.[2][2]

Types of MUVE[edit]

Multi-User Domains[edit]

MUVE's can consist of virtual worlds can be made of text, 2D, and 3D bit maps that replicates a desired environment. Called a MUD (multi-user-domains), these are widely used as dominantly textual virtual environments.[3] 2D and 3D virtual domains usually require an avatar that the user 'guides' in order to explore the environment.

Multi-User Virtual Learning Environments[edit]

Some MUVEs have become used for educational purposes and are thus called Multi-User Virtual Learning Environments (MUVLEs). Examples have included the use of Second Life for teaching English as a foreign languages (EFL)[4] Many specialist types of MUVLE have particular pedagogies associated with them. For instance, George Siemens, Stephen Downes continue to promote the use of a type of MUVLE Dave Cormier coined[5] called a 'MOOC'. Even though MOOCs were once seen as "next big thing" by universities and online education service providers such as Blackboard Inc, this was in fact what has been called a "stampede."[6] By early 2013, serious questions emerged about whether MOOCs were simply part of a hype cycle and indeed following that hype whether academia was thus "MOOC'd out."[7][8]

Massively Multiplayer Online Games[edit]

Massively multiplayer online games depict a wide range of worlds, including those based on fantasy, science fiction, the real world, super heroes, sports, horror, and historical milieus. The most common form of such games are fantasy worlds, whereas those based on the real world are relatively rare.[9] Many MMORPGs have real-time actions and communication.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Avatar Teleport: Build Worlds, Design Avatars". Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  2. ^ a b "World Internet Usage Statistics News and World Population Stats". Retrieved 2012-03-02. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Bishop (2009). Enhancing the understanding of genres of web-based communities: The role of the ecological cognition framework. International Journal of Web-Based Communities, 5(1), 4-17.
  4. ^ Par Janusz Arabski,Adam Wojtaszek (2011). The Acquisition of L2 Phonology. Multilingual Matters.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Laura Pappano. The Year of the MOOC - The New York Times. November 2, 2012
  7. ^ Yang, Dennis (March 14, 2013). "Are We MOOC'd Out?". Huffington Post. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  8. ^ Skapinker, Michael (March 20, 2013). "Open web courses are massively overhyped". Financial Times. Retrieved April 5, 2013. 
  9. ^ List of known MMORPGs


  • Morningstar, C., & Farmer, F. R. (1990). The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat. In M. Benedikt (Ed.), Cyberspace: First steps (The First Annual International Conference on Cyberspace ed., ). Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. from
  • Dieterle, Edward; Clarke, Jody (2005-06-01). "Multi-User Virtual Environments for Teaching and Learning". In Pagani, Margherita. Encyclopedia of Multimedia Technology and Networking (PDF). Idea Group Publishing. ISBN 1-59140-561-0. 

External links[edit]