Documenting a Virtual World - A Case Study in Preserving Scenes from Second Life
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In addition to the World Wide Web, other platforms have emerged on the Internet that are being used by communities to provide and exchange information. One family of such platforms are virtual worlds, which - like the Web - offer themselves for information exchange, e-commerce transactions and social interaction. While web data is successfully being collected and archived, the challenges met when trying to archive aspects from virtual worlds are significant. This paper describes an approach to archive information from virtual worlds, presenting a case study based on Second Life. We present a sociologically based alternative to the more technically-minded solutions aiming at preserving the very artifacts existing within virtual worlds. Our solution is based on creating an extension to the user viewport that will be used to record visual information, either in captured still images or movies, the same way a cinematographer would record a documentary movie. Using a combination of scripting commands within Second Life and third party image recording tools, we can give visual coverage of specified areas of interest within Second Life.