Analyzing the Growth of Virtual Worlds as Scientific Research Tools

Virtual worlds have grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and their applications in expressing political messages and building competitive online-based businesses seem to expand with each new release. But what about scholars at universities and think tanks who hope to use virtual worlds and the social microcosms they create as part of serious academic study?

Pixels and Policy has been skeptical about how some news agencies have looked at virtual worlds as pop-sci "fun fact" generators, but for those willing to invest the time and resources in virtual world research, the Metaverse can yield very interesting and useful data on how people interact, work, and manage a second life in the virtual realm. Pixels and Policy takes a look.

 

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Colorado University Rolls Out Doctorates in Social Media

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   Colorado Tech's beautiful virtual campus

Pixels and Policy was one of the first to touch on St. Paul College's plan to make virtual world studies into a degree program.

We predicted that colleges would begin adopting virtual worlds programs over the next few years. Turns out things are moving faster than we thought.

Now Colorado is in on the fun, becoming one of the first universities in America to offer a PhD in social media and virtual worlds. Pixels and Policy investigates just what it takes to become a Doctor of Facebook.

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What It Means to Have a College Degree in “Virtual Worlds”

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  Metaverse Professor Dick Riedl, , Appalachian State

We've talked about how over 250 American colleges are now offering degrees in game programming, content creation, and virtual worlds.

Courses in game art and virtual development fill up as quick as Faculty add them to the roster.

But more than a few of our readers commented and e-mailed with the same question: What exactly does having a degree in virtual worlds MEAN?

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