Discussions in three-dimensional virtual worlds: Benefits of participation and strategies for the facilitation of in-world discussions.
06 - Präsentation
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Social interactions in three-dimensional (3D) virtual worlds are examined from two perspectives: the benefits of virtual discussion group participation and best practices in terms of virtual discussion group facilitation. The objectives of this qualitative study were to identify what makes a virtual discussion or support group in a 3D platform appealing and how these discussions can be facilitated effectively, with a special focus on developing a sense of community. The content analysis of 18 observation events (total of 17 hours), three field notes, one text-chat log, two interviews, and an ethnographic fieldwork journal has generated three major themes: benefits of participation, facilitation strategies, and social cues. Identifying the way people communicate virtually helps design these spaces to support social needs. The society can take advantage of this mode of communication to pursue various objectives, such as using 3D virtual discussion groups for educational purposes, promoting mental health support groups, and as a practice platform for people with social skills challenges.