Patterns and Process of Reasoning in Virtual Worlds
Proceedings of the Virtual Worlds And Simulation Conference (VWSIM '98), San Diego, Society for Computer Simulation International, (1998)

This paper explores alternative patterns of reasoning and their implications for organizing and representing information in online environments such as MOOs and MUDs. Conventional models of reasoning as argumentation or problem-solving are limiting and reactive; they do not provide for generative forms of reasoning. Christopher Alexander's concept of a "pattern language" in architecture can be productively applied to reasoning patterns. Examples of patterns of reasoning include stars, spirals, collectivities, stories, networks, spatial architectures, and fractals. Currently MOO programming is limiting and frustrating for non-programmers because it does not support diverse patterns of reasoning. Further development of MOOs for use by professionals, scholars, and researchers depends on an understanding of a wide range of knowledge-making practices.
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