2D interactive environment

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  • 2D Interactive environments are a form of virtual environment and have a figurative appearance. Most often, avatars talk in bubbles (like in a comic strip). There can be interactive objects and also multimedia imports (sound, movies, etc.) They are a kind of virtual habitat.

2-D Worlds are not nearly as popular as they should in education. Such environments can have about the same cognitive effects on pupils, could be very interactive and run on any hardware...

See also: virtual environment (for an overview of other types).


  • End of the 1980's "Lucas Film Habitat" than ran on Commodore 64
  • Mid-nineties: 1900's: The Palace (the company is now dead, but the software and the community lives on)
  • Mid-nineties: Webbed "MUDS" (not really 2-D), e.g. encore MOO.
  • End-nineties: VIE
  • 2000s: Web-based 2D environments like Gather Town
  • more needed, e.e. see also 2D multi-user gaming engines (this is by no means complete)


The Palace

The Palace was a very popular server and still has its followers. The company went broke in the early 2000's. However it is easy to find both servers and clients.

VIE / Virtual Learning Platform (dead platform ?)
  • VIE Virtual Interactive Environment
  • Project Virtual Learning Platform
  • VIE (renamed to "Virtual Learning Platform" has been developed by the Swiss vocational teacher's training institution (ISPFP) under the lead (?) of Dieter Schürch and now may have a life at LIFI, University of Lugano (USI).
  • Most documentation is in Italian, since been made in the Italian part of Switzerland.... no idea if this project is still alive. Also: There are other systems that have the same name and acronym.
Gather Town

Virtual learning environments for children, e.g.


  • Morningstar, C. et Farmer, F. R. (1990). The Lessons of Lucasfilm's Habitat. On-Line Publication, (also published in: M.Benedikt (ed.) Cyberspace: First Steps, MIT Press, 1991). txt
  • Schürch, D., Giorgi, C. (2002). The ISPFP Virtual Learning Platform: a new space for distance-learning? EARLI, 5th Workshop "Instructional Design for Multimedia Learning", Erfurt (D), 27-29 June 2002.