Over the past 6 months I’ve spoken about virtual worlds at the following events:
Feb 19 2009: Design London at Imperial College Business School: Accelerating Innovation Cycle Time Through Innovation Technologies (IvT) Workshop where I introduced Second Life as a disruptive technology for design prototyping and visualisation; whereby anyone can experience and share 3D visualisations around the globe instead of needing to visit a particular high cost installation. I likened this to the democratisation of print that occurred with the advent of desktop publishing and of online publishing with Web 2.0.
Feb 11 2009: British Library: Digital Lives Research Project. Here I followed my frequent fellow panelists Ian Hughes and Ren Reynolds by introducing the SciLands and International Spaceflight Museum to ask the question “what do you archive if you wish to preserve the current social phenomenon of Second Life?”. The key here is that these are venues and despite the grandeur of their interactive architecture they serve as a (very effective) context for the rich social interactions and events that occur there. Jerome McDonough of the University of Illinois followed on by speaking about their project to archive the International Spaceflight Museum and other game/virtual worlds, and drew the conclusion that archivists need to engage with the virtual world communities and provide their users with the tools needed to preserve the culture.
On the same day, Feb 11th, Kate, Vishal, Robin, Ani and I ran a Second Life event for the NHS Confederation and the NHS Technology Adoption Centre, entitled Embracing Healthcare Technology and Innovation. I ran 800m after facilitating the SL breakout session at BMA House over to the British Library where I finished writing up the session while I was waiting to speak at the Digital Lives event (above). Given another 100 years of development I might be able to teleport that distance in RL. Delegates at this normally closed meeting were joined by over 70 virtual delegates from Finland, Singapore, USA, Canada, Norway, Italy, UK, Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey and Serbia. Whereas the RL audience attended the whole of the day long event, our virtual delegates were able to come and go at will. Only 50% were present at any one time, but 35 people clocked up almost 1 hour’s attendance each. A poll of the RL audience revealed that just over half had heard of Second Life prior to the event, and that two thirds would like to see more NHS events use Second Life. Good news for the National Health Service Auditorium.
December 2008: I spoke at a conference on Government and Serious Games, organised by Futurelab and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). Here is a video of my presentation at the event.
The conference focussed on the role that serious games and virtual worlds might play in education, public services, and government policy. One outcome was to help stimulate new ideas for policy, business development and research to ensure that serious games and virtual worlds are recognised as a distinct cultural form with a role in public services. The day featured speakers from BERR and Futurelab as well as senior staff from Becta, DIUS, the Technology Strategy Board, Immersive Education, Caspian Games, Blitz Games, and the MoD. Keynote presentations were provided by Lord Puttnam of Queensgate and Tom Watson MP, Minister for Transformational Government, who argued that it is time to bring games to the heart of government. It was attended by key government departments and agencies, research centres, serious games companies, and the entertainment games industry.
November 2008: The American Medical Informatics Association in Washington DC hosted a featured panel titled ‘A Virtual World as a Healthcare Information Platform‘ to introduce members to the wonders of our projects in Second Life. James was in Washington and presented some of our work, then I led a tour through our Virtual Learning Hospital from the comfort of my living room in London. The session was run primarily within SL itself, and the audience in Washington were also treated to live presentations by Pathfinder Linden, Dan Hoch, Ramesh Ramloll and Dan Sands. After the conference Hibiscus Hastings (who blogged the SL conference) requested an interview and tour for an ‘onCNN’ article (vetted for use in CNN News coverage).
October 2008: The Handheld Learning Conference is billed as the international signature event for learning using mobile or ubiquitous technologies. This year I was invited to speak on a panel to help attendees understand the implications of Virtual Worlds and Social Networks for teaching and learning. Fellow panelists included Alan Welsman of Disney who spoke about the significance of virtual worlds for Disney’s family demographic (for example young kids playing on club penguin with their grandparents), my metaversangelist friend Ian Hughes/ePredator of IBM, Forterran Ron Edwards of Ambient Performance and Kurt Squire. We were joined for the panel discussion by dana boyd, fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society whose insistence on lower case typography for her name, reminded me of my Letraset days. dana’s research on youth’s use of social networking is insightful and her keynote presentation is essential viewing.
October 2008: Virtual Worlds Forum Europe in London
September 2008: Serious Virtual Worlds Conference 2008
For more presentations see my Presentations page in this blog.