Describes a networked virtual environment, a type of virtual reality most commonly known as a “MUD” or a “MOO”, which was used at an internationally‐attended scientific conference held on the Internet. Interviews with conference attendees indicated enthusiasm for the effectiveness of the medium, and revealed how the virtual environment can be modified to improve conferencing efficacy. Such alterations included: novel input‐output control management; automation of conference registration; control of anonymous or guest connections; simplification of conference center topography; an improved methodology for recording discussion sessions; use of moderated rooms to compensate for network lag; and providing buffers to update late arriving participants. Concludes that networked virtual environments provide an inexpensive means for effective international conferencing on the Internet.
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