With extortionate university fees and rising living costs, many students see these jobs as a viable way to make money alongside their studies, as they are often flexible, allowing them to work on their own terms and around their university schedule.
These are characterized by using a graphic representation of the user, an avatar (virtual elements such as games (in particular massively multiplayer online games) and educational material most often developed by individual site owners, who in general are simply more advanced users of the systems.
The most popular environments, such as The Palace, also allow users to create or build their own spaces.
The primary use of a chat room is to share information via text with a group of other users. It was developed by Murray Turoff, a young Ph D graduate from Berkeley.
Generally speaking, the ability to converse with multiple people in the same conversation differentiates chat rooms from instant messaging programs, which are more typically designed for one-to-one communication. And its first use was during President Nixon's wage-price freeze under Project Delphi.
Some online chat rooms also incorporate audio and video communications, so that users may actually see and hear each other. These are typically implemented by an external process such as an IRC bot joining the room to conduct the game. Chat rooms, particularly those intended for children, usually have rules that they require users to follow.
The rules are generally posted before entry, either on a web page or an MOTD-type banner in the case of IRC and other text-based chat systems.
The users in a particular chat room are generally connected via a shared internet or other similar connection, and chat rooms exist catering for a wide range of subjects. The system was called EMISARI and would allow 10 regional offices to link together in a real-time online chat known as the party line. The first public online chat system was called Talkomatic, created by Doug Brown and David R.
New technology has enabled the use of file sharing and webcams to be included in some programs. Woolley in 1973 on the PLATO System at the University of Illinois.
Jarkko Oikarinen created Internet Relay Chat (IRC) in 1988. Ares Galaxy, e Mule, Filetopia, Retroshare, Vuze, WASTE, Win MX, etc.
Visual chat rooms add graphics to the chat experience, in either 2D or 3D (employing virtual reality technology).
It offered several channels, each of which could accommodate up to five people, with messages appearing on all users' screens character-by-character as they were typed.