CVL’s Virtual Worlds Database categorizes, describes, preserves, and makes virtual world communities and landmarks more publicly accessible to online users, whether they participate in virtual worlds or not.
The database’s Virtual World Communities collection 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 for the database, please complete the Virtual Worlds Database Volunteer Survey.
About the Database
The Virtual Worlds Database consists of two collections: Virtual World Communities and Virtual World Landmarks. The landmarks collection was informed by a previous CVL effort to collect landmarks into a spreadsheet. We are not currently adding to the Landmarks collection, but we will continue to curate the collection and may build onto it in the future.
The Virtual World Communities collection is our current focus and the inspiration for building the database. But what’s the difference between communities and landmarks anyway?! Landmarks represent a specific space or object. Communities are less tangible and can span many spaces and are more activity and citizen-focused.
The database is live and searchable! The easy-to-remember URL is: http://tinyurl.com/virtualworldsdatabase
The database is also viewable in mobile browsers thanks to the software’s responsive design. Airtable is the free software CVL chose to host the database, and it offers two ways to view the database.
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 also find information in different ways. They can sort, filter, and group by different fields (categories). Users can also use more advanced filters (both by categories as well specific keywords the entry should or should *not* contain). Or they can conduct a simple keyword search.
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 hope is that the database will inspire partnerships, increase virtual world participation in educational communities, and contribute to the documentation of virtual worlds.