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Newsletter, April 2008

The project got off to a flying start with an invitation from Innovation Center Denmark, Silicon Valley, to participate in the 2008 Metaverse U Conference, organized by the Stanford Humanities Lab, Stanford University. The two day conference presented an overview of the latest research and development in the various metaverse subjects – i.e. virtual worlds, mirror worlds, augmented reality, and life logging. The conference also offered a great opportunity for us to establish contacts with several virtual worlds researchers and developers, with the Stanford Humanities Lab and with the Innovation Center. Project members Heidi Hansen, Simon Heilesen, and Sisse Siggaard Jensen participated in the conference.

The official launch of the project took place at Roskilde University on February 25 at an all-day kickoff meeting for project members and partners. This first meeting of all parties involved in the project offered a chance to get acquainted and to hear about the many exciting plans for doing research as well as learning from the experiences of those who have used virtual worlds for professional purposes for some time.

Group discussion at the February 25 kickoff meeting

Getting down to work, on March 27 the first project meeting was hosted by Innovation Lab in Århus. The all-day event focused on the case of Innovation Island DK, i.e. the experiment made by a group of Danish libraries to establish a presence in the virtual world Second Life. Gitte Barlach (Århus Municipal Libraries), who has been in charge of the project, provided a thorough overview and analysis of the Info Island experience. Innovation Lab also provided an overview of their virtual worlds experiences, and their forthcoming contributions to the project were discussed.
The first of several project workshops was held on April 3 at Roskilde University. On the agenda were presentations of and discussions about two of the project cases, Saxo Bank and Wonderful Denmark. Jillian Falconi introduced the Second Life site of Saxo Bank with its functionalities such as a game, and the islands social spaces meant for training and teambuilding. Tommy Nilsson introduced the Wonderful Denmark concept of hosting the Second Life presence of companies and organisations as well as providing a community space for Danish speaking users of the virtual world, and he also offered his reflections on business usage/opportunities and social behaviour in the Danish archipelago associated with Wonderful Denmark.

A paper has been accepted by the Internet Research 9.0 conference organised by the Association of Internet Researchers, Copenhagen, October 15-18 – click here
A panel consisting of three papers has been accepted by the conference Creating Second Lives: Reading and Writing Virtual Communities, Bangor University , UK, October 24-25, 2008 – Click here
A panel consisting of five papers has been submitted to the 2008 conference of the European Communication Research and Education Association, Barcelona, November 25-28 – Click here
Project members are organising a session consisting of several papers within virtual worlds research at the 2008 conference of Forskningsnettet (the Danish Research Network).
The project has embarked on the task of organising its publication activities. A first result is the creation of a series of Innovations in Virtual Worlds Working Papers, hosted by the Roskilde University Digital Archive (RUDAR). The first working paper, Heilesen, S. B. (2008). Metaverse U Conference Notes, was published in March – Click here

Experimental work
Research Island Denmark was created in Second Life in March. The first structure created is a spacious auditorium where meetings will be held. The first meeting on the new island took place on March 31 where a group of project members and partners took part in a virtual excursion to two selected island in order to develop ideas for a discussion about innovative design. In the coming months a holodeck will be constructed in order to facilitate experimental work.

Meeting at the Research Island Denmark auditorium

Guest researchers
In the research project, we have the opportunity to invite guest researchers for a short-term stay. At present, we are in the process of taking contact to possible researchers. Accordingly, we are interested to hear if you have a suggestion for us to take into consideration.
(ed. by SH)

Posted in Blog, Conferences, Publications, Workshops and Seminars.

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