Meaning of VIRTUAL in English

a seeming reality that lacks some elements of total reality. Since the early days of computing, simulation has become the most common form of achieving virtual worlds for learning and research. The term "virtual" is now loosely applied in many contexts. At one extreme it is applied to most anything connected with a computer or networks. For example, network chat lines may be viewed as "virtual communities." Interactive creation (by multiple persons) of artificial worlds (e.g., MUDs, MOOs, MUSHes, simulations, etc.) has become a major component in creating virtual communities. At the other extreme there is virtual reality in its most advanced stages with headgear, wired body suits, simulated odors, simulated tactle sensations, surrounding 3-D worlds, interactions of multiple people and machines in a shared cyberspace, etc. Entire courses are either using or devoting the course to "virtual communities." For example, students in a sociology course at Northern Arizona University create virtual communities in a simulation of the colonization of mars. A Harvard University course is entitiled "Virtual Communities" with a web site at . See CMC , The term "virtual community" has evolved to where it usually refers to "conversations" that are not face-to-face and are often anonymous to at least the point where speakers cannot be identified (although groups to which they belong might be known). The key element is anonymity. Corporate boards of directors and other groups often pay to rent "silent meeting rooms" that are available in some universities such as the University of Arizona, Syracuse University, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and other campuses. In a "silent meeting," participants can be face-to-face and still communicate anonymously. This is because the "conversations" are taking place within the computers in front of all participants. When a participant makes a point, none of the other participants can detect which person in the room made the comment. See IRC , Simulation , USENet , MUDs , MOOs ,and Virtual Realtiy .

Jensen's Technology English Glossary.      Английский словарь фирмы Jensen Technologies.