Mind-churning post on The Mechanics of Trust [via As Above] at Terra Nova, about mucking around with zeroth nature in virtual worlds: "But what about manipulating trust on the interaction level instead of the mechanics level? "Transformed Social Interaction" is an emerging concept in VR research that recognizes that we do not have to be constrained by the physical constraints of interaction in a virtual reality precisely because everyone sees their own version of reality. So we could implement non-zero-sum gaze very easily (where avatar A maintains eye contact with avatars B, C and D all at the same time). And we know from the psych literature that eye contact enhances learning, persuasion and attraction. So what if we tweaked eye contact in groups to be non-zero sum for 50% of the times when someone speaks? Could we enhance the overall trust in a world?" Now that hits a whole load of my keywords.

Read Transformed Social Interaction: Decoupling Representation from Behavior and Form in Collaborative Virtual Environment [pdf].