Affiliated Organization

Proceedings of IFIP 8.2/Organizations and Society in Information Systems (OASIS)


Evolving from their hedonic roots as systems of play, open cultural virtual worlds(e.g. Second Life) are increasingly recognized for their utilitarian and economicvalue. Virtual worlds provide a shared, immersive and persistent online environmentin which individuals, organizations and communities may collaborate to develop rich,interactive virtual goods. Virtual goods hold both instrumental and symbolic value,acting as mechanisms for enabling self-expression, increasing capability and utility,generating income, fostering relationships amongst users, and enabling the creation ofvirtual ‘places’, thus facilitating further user activity. While the technologicallyenabled collaborative development of digital artifacts within both virtual communities(e.g. open source software) and virtual teams (e.g. distributed software development)have emerged as significant research topics in the IS discipline, collaborativedevelopment activities in immersive environments such as virtual worlds are underresearchedto date. Specifically, we lack an understanding of how individuals andgroups overcome the context specific tensions that arise from collaboration in suchenvironments. To address this gap in our knowledge, the objective of our study is toidentify the key tensions that emerge in such activities, and to explore how thesetensions are resolved.