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Welcome to the Duke Immersive Virtual World Projects Wiki

This site has been established as a source of information on all of the current immersive virtual world projects around the Duke community. We will also post information on current enabling technologies and development resources available to help make your project a success.
Please contact Steve Tobackin OIT's Interactive Technology Services if you would like to have a project page listed off of this site to help enhance collaboration across Duke.

Why Use Virtual Worlds?

Virtual worlds allow you to deliver an immersive teaching and learning experience dealing with topics that may be too difficult, dangerous or expensive to create consistently in the real world. Teaching scenarios which are prime for delivery through a virtual world include:

  • Geographically Independent Collaboration - work with teams scattered across the globe and view the same content in real time
  • Community Outreach - tougher restrictions in infectious disease control and other safety restrictions have all but eliminate visits from prospective health care students when they are in their primary education years. Through the creation of virtual medical scenarios, you can allow the video game generation to immerse themselves in situations to excite them about the career possibilities in health care.
  • Equipment Specific Training - new equipment is being constantly deployed and updated in our work environments. Creating training simulators provides a safe and measurable way to provide training without tying up the actual equipment while in production.
  • New Employee/Customer Orientation - provide training to your new employees about the physical layout of their new workplace even before they come onsite. If your customers are patients, allowing them to experience the environment in which they will receive their care from the comfort of their hope will help alleviate fears and make for better patient outcomes.

Duke Projects

Other Projects


These are enabling platforms that can deliver a virtual world experience but do not supply content for a virtual world.

  • Active Worlds - a proprietary closed community that is used by educational community to host their environment
  • Croquet Consortium - an open source peer-to-peer virtual world platform whose first application iteration, Cobalt, is being developed at Duke.
  • Second Life- a commercial, open environment whose openess can provide benefits and challenges by bringing the general public to your virtual world 
  • Wonderland - an open source server based platform being developed by Sun Computers.

Development Partners

  • Virtual Heroes - specializing in gaming aimed at education, aka "serious gaming", Virtual Heroes is a Durham based developer with a wealth of experience in the field


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