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Common Ground and Small Group Interaction in Large Virtual World Gatherings

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Springer, London


Virtual worlds can allow conversational participants to achieve common ground in situations where the information volume and need for clarification is low. We argue in favor of this assertion through an examination of a semi-structured activity among hundreds of users held in a virtual world. Through the idea of implicit grounding, we argue that the affordances of contextualized space, knowledge of the social occasion, and creative self presentation allowed attendees to achieve common ground in a low information volume, low clarification need activity. We use the success of the event to reexamine and extend Clark and Brennanʼs work on grounding in communication.


Shami, N. Sadat; Erickson, Thomas; Kellogg, Wendy A. (2011): Common Ground and Small Group Interaction in Large Virtual World Gatherings. ECSCW 2011: Proceedings of the 12th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. DOI: 10.1007/978-0-85729-913-0_21. Springer, London. ISBN: 978-0-85729-913-0. pp. 393-404. Full Papers. Aarhus Denmark. 24-28 September 2011