Functional Architecture of Virtual Worlds

The following is a set of functional capabilities that are common to virtual worlds as they are emerging today.
•    Programming and scripting languages
•    Creation and inventory of virtual objects
•    Physics simulation and movement, including walking and running, flying, riding virtual vehicles, and teleporting
•    Virtual territory, including land formations, sharding and land controls
•    Avatar management, including avatar animation, avatar appearance and customization (shapes, clothing, etc.), and avatar name space
•    Communications, local and long (virtual) distance, and including text chat, instant messaging (IM), voice, and streaming audio and video
•    Social groups, including formal groups with roles and powers for members, as well as informal schisming
•    Virtual world economy, sometimes penetrating into real world national economies, which requires a monetary scheme, object ownership, the ability to sell and buy objects, real estate transactions and property tax
•    Application serving inside a VW, which is the key to doing real collaboration around content