What They Are and Whence They Came
The Past Affects the Future
Influences on Virtual Worlds
What are virtual worlds? In this context, a world is an environment that its inhabitants regard as being self-contained. It doesn't have to mean an entire planet: It's used in the same sense as “the Roman world” or “the world of high finance.”
So what about the virtual part? Not to get too philosophical about it:
Real. That which is.
Imaginary. That which isn't.
Virtual. That which isn't, having the form or effect of that which is.
Virtual worlds are places where the imaginary meets the real.
Virtual worlds are implemented by a computer (or network of computers) ...