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Sessions and papers

PAPER SESSION 1A (Chair: Simon Bignell, 30 min. per paper including questions)
Jeffrey Wimmer: On behalf of society? The potential of online gaming worlds for public value, social capital and civic engagement – Jeffrey
Thomas Kohler; Severin Dennhardt: User-generated brands: What real companies can learn from virtual world brands - Severin
Ursula Plesner; Maja Horst: Selling the Selling Point: How to create users of architectural models in Second Life – Ursula

PAPER SESSION 1B (Chair: Panayiotis Zaphiris, 30 min. per paper including questions)
Sheldon Brown: Typecasting Virtual Experience - Sheldon
Lisbeth Frølunde: Understanding Machinima: Applying a Dialogic Approach - Lisbeth
Denise Doyle: Phenomenologies of Practice: Making Sense of Virtual Worlds and User-Driven Innovation – Denise

PAPER SESSION 2A (Chair: Dominic Power, 30 min. per paper including questions)
Robin Teigland; Elia Giovacchini; Thomas Kohler; Remko Helms: Enabling SME internationalization – Foreign market knowledge acquisition through user-innovation activities in virtual worlds - Robin
Antti Ainamo: Children as Users and Creators: Notes from a Virtual World – Antti
Maren Hartmann: Back to the roots: What is user-driven innovation? - Maren

PAPER SESSION 2B (Chair: Jeffrey Wimmer, 30 min. per paper including questions)
Mitchell Owen Harrop; Martin Gibbs: Innovative frames of play – Mitchell
Edward Castronova: Studying Beehives Not Bees: Virtual Worlds and Social Science - Edward
Yesha Sivan: State of Virtual Worlds Standards in Q3-2010 (SOS) – Yesha

IGNITE THE POSTER (Chair: Ursula Plesner, will start with a round of lightning talks, max 3 minutes for each poster presentation, bell will ring to keep the time, posters should be size A1)
Pekko Koskinen: Virtually Critical: Comparisons between Virtual Environments and other Environmental Models – Pekko
Dr. Panayiotis Zaphiris: Using Social Network Analysis to Analyse and Model Online Communities and Virtual Worlds - Panayiotis
Antti Ainamo; Juha-Antti Lamberg: Relaxing the reality principle: A framework for research on how virtual worlds enable a radical break with an undesirable present – Antti
Claus Frisenberg Povlsen: Pop Art Lab – An immersive music project in Second Life
Kim Holmberg: Virtual information spaces - Kim
Panote Siriaraya; Chee Siang Ang: Elderly users in Virtual Worlds - Panote
Robin Teigland; Dominic Power; Serdar Temiz: Fashion through the Looking Glass: Investigating the role of spatial proximity in building trust in virtual worlds - Robin2
Dina Friis Jensen: TBA
Jacob Østergaard: Urban City Scapes
Bjarke Liboriussen; Ursula Plesner: Imagining Technicities: Projections of Taste and Skill in the Use of Virtual Worlds in Architectural Design - Bjarke

PECHA KUCHA SESSION (Chair: TBA, 20 slides, 20 seconds, total of 6 minutes and 40 seconds per paper, slides are set automatically and the talk follows the slides keeping presentations concise and moving at a rapid pace)
Maria Bäcke: Leadership in the role-playing community Midian City in Second Life - Maria
Mikala Hansbøl: Researching processes of agentizations and emerging circulations of - Mikala
Simon Bignell: Developing Innovative Problem-based Teaching in Virtual Worlds - Simon
Ates Gürsimsek: Co-creating “Second Life”: An analysis of collaborative co-design processes of interactive virtual environments in community-authored social virtual worlds – Ates
Damon Hernandez: The Building Industry of the 21 Century – Damon


PLENARY SESSION 1, chair Sisse Siggaard Jensen, respondents: Maren Hartman, John Lester

Co-director Jeremy Hunsinger (Center for Digital Discourse and Culture, VirginiaTech: Virtual worlds): Frames and Fields: An overview of the field and the Im/possibilities of innovation

Studying virtual worlds from one perspective is studying humans. From another perspective, virtual world studies are studies of human built environments and the broader ecology of our everyday lives which envelope our lives in these worlds. Given the broad sets of relations surrounding virtual world, every human science and humanistic enquiry has contributions to make to the study of virtual worlds, and in the last 40 years, from the inception of the first virtual environments, until today, research has progressed both in those forms of enquiry and in the technological development of virtual environments and virtual worlds. However, the fields involved in virtual worlds over time have diverged to provide a broad set of knowledges to diverse communities to which they serve. I argue that the knowledges serving the technological development of virtual worlds as a technology have diverged from social and humanistic understands, and through those divergences, developed a set of normalized affordances through which these worlds have come to to frame the genres and possibilities of virtual worlds research in those fields.

While currently this normalized trajectory provides adequate insights into the field which it allows, changes in worlds have transformed the dynamics of possibility in those worlds. Using examples from a variety of virtual worlds, I show that the way that people in virtual worlds create, innovate, and act socially is based on a set of assumptions that could, and I argue should change, if we are to make arguments about how people actually act and exist in relation to virtual worlds. For what we can say we know about virtual worlds varies, but what we can experience does not. Our experience is limited to the affordances, genres and interpretations provided for in virtual worlds. Given the frame of the sets of affordances provided in virtual worlds, shouldn’t we try ones that are slightly less normal, perhaps more abstract, perhaps just different.

While I foresee the problems of less perceived commercial viability, and related problems for developing society where things could be different, we have also seen in many virtual worlds, the possibility for differences, and through that difference, there might be ways of understanding ourselves differently.

This paper posits the question of what frames and fields we can find in virtual worlds, and it explicitly confronts the possibility of difference by asking; what if virtual worlds were different, what if the affordances provided were different, and what would we know then? It seeks answers by providing an analysis and overview of recent literature in the field within the context of the history of virtual worlds and virtual environments, combined with an analysis of the affordances and genres of virtual worlds currently marketed toward populations over 18. Through analyzing recent scholarship in virtual worlds and by analysis of the virtual worlds themselves, I argue that we are seeing a trajectory of technological development, affordances, and scholarship that is promoting normalcy. The normalcy of virtual worlds in terms of genre and affordances becomes clear when we think of the possibilities that are provided for within virtual worlds.

PLENARY SESSION 2, chair TBA, respondents: Mitchell Harrop, Kim Holmberg

Associate Professor Mia Consalvo (School of Telecommunications, Ohio University): When casual became hardcore, and social went asynchronous: Exploring the changing landscape of virtual worlds and online games

Casual games and casual players are seemingly more popular than ever, with portals such as Big Fish Games, Playfirst and Kongregate drawing millions of players on a regular basis. Researchers studying players of casual games have found they report playing more often and for longer periods than their hardcore counterparts, and their demographic breakdown includes many individuals not previously associated with heavy gameplay activity. Another emerging genre–social games–is popular on social network sites, with Farmville drawing more than 83 million users who plant crops and visit friends’ farms.

This talk explores how conceptions of virtual worlds and online games have changed radically just in the past several years, from a predominant focus on hardcore FPS and MMO players to new types of games and new sorts of players. To so do it draws from recent empirical research exploring the “casual” MMO Faunasphere and its player base, as well as analyses of social games currently popular on the Facebook platform. In doing so, it questions how useful current theories of gameplay are, how we can best understand players, and how game studies must evolve to better confront such challenges.

PLENARY SESSION 3, chair Sisse Siggaard Jensen

Professor Jay David Bolter (School of Literature, Communication and Culture, Georgia Institute of Technology): Mobile augmented reality and the future of virtual worlds

Virtual worlds have been understood as places for social interaction distinct from the physical world–places accessed through the screen of a laptop or desktop computer. Recent developments in mobile and augmented reality suggest ways in which virtual worlds can merge with our physical world. How can we make sense of such hybrid worlds and users’ relationships and interactions in them? What opportunities for innovation do such hybrid environments present?

John Lester Independent Consultant: Knowing When to Let Go: The Mind, the Metaverse, and Metaphor

The Metaverse, as defined and envisioned in Stephenson’s “Snow Crash,” inspired a generation of computer scientists and was supposed to take the world by storm. So why aren’t perceptually immersive and general purpose virtual worlds living up to this dream of broad adoption? In this talk, John Lester will explore the concept of “metaphor shear” as
it applies to virtual worlds, identifying critical challenges that both virtual world companies and customers must overcome in order to succeed. He will discuss his experiences cultivating online communities on various platforms and his work with Linden Lab and
Second Life. John will also summarize his insights on the neurological underpinnings of why concepts like the Metaverse can simultaneously attract and repel the human mind.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. June 8 – Metanomics Mixed Reality Broadcast on New Market Dynamics linked to this post on 2010/06/02

    [...] More info on workshop, participants and sessions/papers at the real life venue. [...]

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