So far, we have looked at the emergence of VR technologies and at some examples of how they have come to be used. At this point, we can begin to consider the social implications of VR technology in a different way: apart from the "local" contexts, we also need to get a sense of the range of ways in which VR technology is being used. This can be done by presenting an inventory of virtual worlds and of their key features.
Apart from looking at content, we must also examine the forms of interaction: what range of interaction is supported by VR systems? As a next step, we can compare this range of interaction with how we can do similar things with other, existing technologies. This comparison will enable us to say how interaction with virtual worlds fits into the landscape of conventional information and communication technologies or how VR departs from existing uses of technologies or reinforces them -- and how it therefore, although still in its early stages, is beginning to change the way we use machines and the way we live our everyday lives.
One way to describe the content of virtual worlds is by giving a (subjective) narrative account of the experience. 1 We can use the game Legend Quest to illustrate what kinds of components a virtual world typically contains and to allow us to identify what kinds of trade-offs