An active worlds interface to basic support for cooperative working (BSCW) to enhance chance encounters

A. Huxor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


New ways of working, as exemplified by distance learning, telecommuting and the virtual organisation, are growing in popularity. This paper concerns itself with the role that 3D virtual environments can play in assisting such collaborative working. Specifically, chance encounters have been shown to be important in collaboration, that is, encounters that are not pre-arranged by its participants. There are a number of tools to facilitate encounters online, but these create new problems. It is argued that 3D shared spaces can assist in the management of chance encounters, allowing them to create a situation similar to that found in the traditional workplace, in which tasks and content are situated in locales. If shared 3D spaces are to have utility for computing in general, rather than specific applications, it is suggested that this may be in such spatial management of encounters. An example, in which Active Worlds is employed as an interface to Basic Support for Cooperative Working (BSCW) content is described. This content creates the motivation for users to be within the space, and thus available for chance encounters with other users; their nature and extent of being spatially coordinated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalVirtual Reality
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • Active Worlds
  • BSCW
  • Chance encounters
  • CSCW
  • Shared spaces

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