Virtual Worlds Database

Visit the Virtual Worlds Database online today! The easy-to-remember URL is:

About the Database

CVL’s Virtual Worlds Database categorizes, describes, preserves, and makes virtual world communities more publicly accessible to online users, whether they participate in virtual worlds or not. These communities often span many spaces (and worlds!) and are activity and citizen-focused.

The database’s current focus is the Virtual World Communities collection, which is accepting submissions!
To submit a community, fill out the Virtual Worlds Database Form.

Please enter communities you are part of or communities that you have visited. Even if an entry is incomplete, it will give CVL volunteers a great starting point as we add your suggestions to the database!

To volunteer as a database assistant, please complete the Virtual Worlds Database Volunteer Survey.

How Do I Search the Database?

Airtable is the free software CVL chose to host the database (four library school students recommended the platform after studying CVL’s database needs for a course project!), and it offers two ways to view the database: a Main View and a Gallery View.

The Main View looks similar to a spreadsheet you might create in Excel or Google Sheets. The Gallery View allows for easier browsing and is designed for quick peaks at important entry info. Clicking an entry shows you its full record.

Users can sort, filter, and group by different fields (categories).  Users can also use more advanced filters (both by categories and by keywords the entry should or should *not* contain). Or they can conduct a simple keyword search.

The database also works in mobile browsers.

Why Catalog Virtual Worlds?

Documenting virtual worlds is important so current and future generations know what information professionals and educators have accomplished with virtual worlds. Recording this information in the present is crucial because virtual worlds are ever-changing, and once a simulation disappears, it is difficult (if not impossible) to find traces of it.

Can you think of examples where virtual world users have “re-invented the wheel”?
How about pioneers in Virtual and Augmented Reality? Many creators and users of emerging virtual worlds/platforms can benefit from past and current virtual world knowledge!

Cataloging virtual worlds is also important because there is a lack of in-world tools for searching simulations and communities that currently exist. Users often must know the name of the community to find it, and searching based on a single term does not guarantee the user will find a relevant, safe community.

Ultimately, the Virtual Worlds Database will allow users to search and browse past and active virtual communities and landmarks from online regardless of whether the users have ever set foot in a virtual world.

CVL’s goal is that the database will inspire partnerships, increase virtual world participation in educational communities, and contribute to the documentation of virtual worlds.