World Wide Web-Based Collaborative Virtual World

Period of Performance: 01/01/1998 - 12/31/1998

$248K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Scientific Digital Visions, Inc.
4640 Northgate Blvd., #160
Sacramento, CA 95834
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Educational software traditionally has been single-computer oriented. The programs may allow more than one user but the program requires them to share one computer. The adaptation of Multi- User Domains (MUDs), software that implements a virtual world accessible over a computer network to many remote users, for educational purposes has given some educators more flexibility in developing educational applications for computers. Existing MUDs have several serious limitations. There is a very steep learning curve for educators due to the need for programming. Also, MUDs provide text-only output making it difficult for some users who have learning disabilities. These limitations have been addressed by efforts which included overlaying a web-based MUD client over existing text-only MUDs. However, these solutions are still inadequate in increasing the accessibility of MUDs to less technically sophisticated educators. Scientific Digital Visions proposes to research the development of a software suite that integrates all of the functionality of existing MUDs within software that uses web technology exclusively, overcoming the limitations of its predecessors. When fully developed, this software will allow educators to produce educationally oriented virtual worlds without the need for programming through the use of specialized code generation tools.