Traveling Through Cyberspace: Tourism and Photography in Virtual Worlds

24 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2020

Date Written: June 2003


This paper gives an overview of the ways in which virtual worlds (graphical chat and online gaming environments) make extensive use of travel and tourism themes and how online photography (screen capturing) serves to further this metaphor. Marketing materials on informational sites and in corporate press releases describe virtual worlds in much the same way a travel brochure might describe an offline tourist destination: as an exotic vacation spot, an online theme park, or even a second home. Visitors to virtual worlds further this metaphor through the taking of digital tourist photographs in the form of screen captures of scenic views and in-world monuments. Some virtual tourists even create online photo albums and travel journals of their virtual world adventures and show them proudly to family and friends. This paper also serves, in its own way, as a sort of travel journal, taking the reader on a tour through many virtual worlds.

Keywords: Virtual worlds, chat, gaming, tourism, photography, travel

JEL Classification: M00

Suggested Citation

Book, Betsy, Traveling Through Cyberspace: Tourism and Photography in Virtual Worlds (June 2003). Available at SSRN: or

Betsy Book (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

New York, NY 10003
United States


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