Serious Virtual Worlds, Coventry (Day 1)

Notes from the first day.

Serious Virtual Worlds, Christian Renaud Serious Virtual Worlds, Simon Stevens Ren Reynolds' laptop Serious Virtual Worlds, which world should we be in again? Serious Virtual Worlds, Claus and Ren

David Wortley, Serious Games Institute

  • An introduction to the conference.
  • Time, technology and change. Virtual worlds are a new frontier.
  • Day one: orientation and exploration.
  • Day two: practical applications and conclusions.

Christian Renaud, Cisco – Getting serious about virtual worlds

  • Chief architect of networked virtual environments.
  • His job is to get Cisco into new technology, quickly.
  • It’s time to get serious about virtual worlds.
  • We’ve tried before, and we’ve failed, for social and business reasons.
  • Where vs How. Serendipity of common shared space, built in ability to interact with 3D worlds. Evolutionary bias we have for physical world.
  • The magic of physical proximity.
  • Making remote participants first-class citizens [I want to think and talk a lot more about this. I bought it up in my presentation on Friday, hopefully without offending the conference organisers].
  • Making virtual meetings not just as good as RL meetings, but better. It won’t be face-to-face, but it can be richer.

Fabrizio Cardinali, CEO Giunti Labs, chair European Learning Industries – Innovating learning in a flat, virtual world

  • Innovation is not optional
  • “Knowledge warriors”, the next generation of knowledge workers?
  • Information space (interoperability), inclusion (individualisation), innovation (and wider investments)
  • Copying existing models is what happens, and fails.
  • ASPU (avg satisfaction per user) is important. Telcos are considering this in addition to ARPU (average return per user).
  • augmenting gallery experience with nuggets (via mobile?) – learning pills.
  • Pool Paradox analogy: if human existence were a single day, we’d have started using spoken language at 9:30pm, writing at 11:52pm, analog recording and TV etc at 11:59:49, computers at 11:59:58 and the internet at 11:59:59.

Jim Purbrick / Babbage Linden – Serious Second Life

  • Beware of false dichotomies. Play vs work (or fun vs serious) does not have to be a problem.
  • Already talking re standards and use existing ones. OpenID. Where they don’t exist we may need to create them.

Mary Matthews, Trusim (a division of Blitz Games) – Emotion and Fidelity

  • Using emotion to connect game players
  • Emotion in learning
  • Uncanny valley.
  • Surface representation vs behaviour and movement.

John Burwell, Forterra – Virtual World Evolutions

  • market evolution (move from technology to entertainment, corporate use)
  • customer requirements (behind the firewall. High quality models. Interoperability)
  • “Second Life is the best thing that has happened to us”. Driving interest and clients with requirements which SL doesn’t hit.

Ron Edwards, Ambient Performance – Serious Virtual Worlds Implementation Ecosystem

  • Ambient Performance are the European reseller for Forterra
  • Faro laser scanning
  • Virtual Worlds Consortium

Simon Stevens, Wheelies – Second Life and disability: a review of the issues

  • Highlight of the day for me. Simon has cerebal palsy, and I had to pay very careful attention. His message, which included his history of being the first disabled person he knew in SL, was fascinating.
  • “I live in Second Life”
  • Simon Stevens in RL: consultant with Daden, loves watersports,hates peanut butter. simonstephens.com
  • Simon Walsh in SL: runs Wheelies and Second Ability, loves dancing, hates griefers.  secondability.com
  • Sense of community. SL is not just a VW, it’s a community.
  • A lot of people said “you don’t have to disabled here. Why are you in a wheelchair?”
  • Some people want to look disabled in SL, other’s don’t.
  • Accessibility. SL not very good. Technology needs to catch up with what the community needs.
  • Consider environmental access when building. You need handrails on open top roofs, wide doors and ramps for access. Not just for wheelchair users, but for avatars controlled by disabled people.
  • “People tell me ‘this isn’t real’ but we’re all here because of virtual worlds.”
  • It’s not a game. There are real people online, and if you hurt someone, you can’t start again.
  • Q: where should disabled people getting started in SL go? A: anywhere. Shouldn’t have to be a specific place. 

Kevin Corti, CEO PIXELLearning – Flash-based immersive learning simulators

  • Consultancy (work for hire), Off the shelf, eventually: technology and toolsets
  • Moving from “interesting concepts” to accepted “business solutions”.
  • Specialise in Flash
  • Moving from awareness to an inclusive behaviour.

Chris Branigan, MD Caspian Learning – user managed immersive worlds

  • Three overlapping spaces. 3D worlds: learner control. personalisation, exploration. Games: motivation, challenge, competition, feedback. Simulations: content, safe failure, practice, experiential.
  • Focus on 3D worlds leads to an overlap with simulations and games.
  • User managed immersive worlds
  • 70% of all new jobs since 98 require employees to make complex judgements and decisions. Now 40% total.
  • % of jobs which require retained knowledge have dropped from 75% in mid 80s to 8-10% in 2000.
  • Three sorts of journey through worlds: directed journeys, branching journeys, open journeys.

Update:All presentation materials are now online via the Serious Games Institute

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