JUCS - Journal of Universal Computer Science 27(9): 913-954, doi: 10.3897/jucs.74166
Non-verbal Aspects of Collaboration in Virtual Worlds: a CSCW Taxonomy-development Proposal Integrating the Presence Dimension
expand article infoArmando Cruz, Hugo Paredes§|, Leonel Morgado, Paulo Martins#¤
‡ Escola Superior de Tecnologia e Gestão de Lamego – Instituto Politécnico de Viseu, Viseu, Portugal§ INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal| University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Portugal¶ University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal# INESC TEC, Vila Real, Portugal¤ Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), Porto, Portugal
Open Access

Virtual worlds, particularly those able to provide a three-dimensional physical space, have features that make them suitable to support collaborative activities. These features distinguish virtual worlds from other collaboration tools, but current taxonomies of the field of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work do not account for several distinctive features of virtual worlds, namely those related with non-verbal communication. We intended to find out how the use of an avatar, gestures, spatial sounds, etc., influence collaboration in order to be able to include non-verbal communication in taxonomies of the field Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. Several cases of collaboration in virtual worlds are analysed, to find the impact of these non-verbal characteristics of virtual worlds. We proposed adding the concept of Presence to taxonomies of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and contribute with guidance for future taxonomy development that includes it as a new dimension. This new dimension of Presence is subdivided into "avatar" and "physical space" subdimensions. In turn, these are divided into "physical appearance", "gestures, sounds and animations" and "focus, nimbus and aura"; "environment" and "objects / artefacts". This new taxonomy-development proposal may contribute to inform better design of virtual worlds in support of cooperative work.

Presence, collaboration, taxonomy, 3D virtual worlds, CVEs, CSCW, development of CVEs.