The Magic Circle: Realistic Expectations for Virtual Worlds

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The Magic Circle: Realistic Expectations for Virtual Worlds

  1. 1. The Magic CircleRealistic Expectations for Virtual Worlds
  2. 2. Before We Start (We Move Really Fast):Definitions & QuestionsSim(ulator), Region, 16 acres... 4 by 4. 256x256m. 65,536sqm. Eight Football Fields.Rez (from Tron, 1982): Resolution; making something.Avatar: Hindu Deity; Ultima IV; BBS; Social Media; SLVirtual Reality: (coined by Jaron Lanier) “Almost” RealityWho here knows they have an avatar?Abstract concept of Avatar? Our concept of the Avatar?What makes an avatar?
  3. 3. What is the Magic Circle?The Regular Rules Do Not Apply
  4. 4. Part I: Evolution & the Avatar
  5. 5. Who are you? Timothy Allen University of Pennsylvania Class of 1996 School of Arts & Sciences Individualized Major: Combined Psychology & Computer Science... ...and now...
  6. 6. Who are you? Timothy Allen Wharton Computing   Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)   ...and virtually...
  7. 7. Who are you? FlipperPA Peregrine Founding Member, Second Life Community Convention SLBoutique.com  
  8. 8. Who are you? FlipperPA Peregrine Founding Member, Second Life Community Convention SLBoutique.com   OCCASIONAL BANANA  
  9. 9. Who are you? FlipperPA Peregrine Founding Member, Second Life Community Convention SLBoutique.com   STILL THIN ROCK STAR  
  10. 10. Who are you? FlipperPA Peregrine Founding Member, Second Life Community Convention SLBoutique.com   PURPLE FERAL FOX (Why not?)  
  11. 11. The point being... THE AVATAR   Ultimate Blank Canvas   Self Expression Unleashed A Path to Freedom Safe, Anonymous Self Exploration  
  12. 12. Imagination, dreams, “Inception”, blank canvas,evolution, Facebook, Second Life, Twitter? Avatars are everywhere. Get used to it. More on that later!
  13. 13. Part II: Perception, Participation & Public Space
  14. 14. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1975 to 1980: All in the MindColossal Cave Adventure, Zork & MUDs: Text & ImaginationMUD: Multi-User Dungeon
  15. 15. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1980 through 1990: @ is for @vatar!Rogue / Hack / NetHack: The Genesis of Visual Representation
  16. 16. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1990: MOO Bring Persistence; "Not a Game"MOO: Mud, Object-Oriented; Permanently Stored Objects
  17. 17. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1993: Virtual Places & the Web RevolutionVirtual Web Pages; Start of Graphical Revolution
  18. 18. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1993: The PalaceSocial Chat: A Virtual Comic Strip, “2.5 Dimensions”
  19. 19. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1993: WorldsChat Space StationActual 3-Dimensional Perspective
  20. 20. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1994: ActiveWorldsThe Dawn of UGC: User Generated Content, “E-Motes”
  21. 21. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:1999-2002: Linden Lab Founded; Second LifeThe Dawn of UGC: User Generated Content, “E-Motes”
  22. 22. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:July, 2003: The Tax RevoltDoing the logical thing, SL Residents set themselves onfire to protest the “prim tax.”
  23. 23. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:November 14th, 2003: IP RightsLinden Lab grants rights of creations to the creator;covered in SlashDot; FlipperPA Peregrine is born.
  24. 24. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:BTW, this WAS before Youtube, Facebook,Flickr, Digg, Twitter & more had traction; infact, SLs users became their early adopters!
  25. 25. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:December, 2003: Avalon & Rivers Run RedLondon based Rivers Run Red opens the Avalon region;the design and branding firm soon brings Adidas, the BBC,Hermann Miller, Avril Levigne, and more to virtual worlds.
  26. 26. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:January, 2004: Land and Prim LimitsLand “bought” from Linden Lab; more land meant moreprimitives, which meant more detailed content. Fullsimulators (16 acres of space as 1 CPU) begin being sold.
  27. 27. A Brief History of Avatars & Virtual Worlds:January, 2004: The Crompco Virtual StationCrompco Corporation becomes the first company to useSecond Life for corporate training; reduced time ofapprenticeship cycle from nine months to six.
  28. 28. Concepts of virtual space... are *almost* always public.Virtual Starwood == The Shining.Private Space == “Security”...heheLike privacy in Facebook, Twitter, or the Web, does it really exist?
  29. 29. Part III: Hyperbole,Hysteria & Heroes
  30. 30. Remember the 2002 map? 16 total regions(also know as “sims”, short for “simulator”)
  31. 31. In 2005, the hype is in full swing...25,000 sims (each being 16 acres)
  32. 32. 2005: The First Second Life CommunityConvention (SLCC): 150 attendees in 1L;1000s more in 2L. “Mixed Reality”
  33. 33. The Gartner Hype Cycle of Technology
  34. 34. The Media Blitz: Major Hype
  35. 35. SLCC 2006: 450 attendees......and Mitch Kapor keynoting!
  36. 36. 2007: Peak of the Positive HypeNBC, CBS, and CSI: New York
  37. 37. SLCC 2007: 1000 attendes, lots ofpress, and time for us to retire!
  38. 38. The Fallout: Hype Swings Both WaysCompanies didnt engage the SL community.Companies believed their brands were cool enough, peoplewould come flocking to their locations.A community of creative minds isnt easily wooed by marketers.Successful examples: Coca-Cola, Pontiac, IBM, Cisco, IntelBusts: too many to list... but American Apparel was the first.
  39. 39. The Pope and VirtualityPope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger ofbeing unable to discern reality from fiction because of newtechnologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make itimpossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead toconfusion between reality and virtual reality. The image canalso become independent from reality, it can give birth to avirtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk ofindifference towards real life," he said.
  40. 40. The Pope and VirtualityPope Benedict XVI has warned that people are in danger ofbeing unable to discern reality from fiction because of newtechnologies, and not old books. "New technologies and the progress they bring can make itimpossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead toconfusion between reality and virtual reality. The image canalso become independent from reality, it can give birth to avirtual world, with various consequences -- above all the risk ofindifference towards real life," he said. WTF, REALLY?!
  41. 41. Simon Stevens: Breaking the RulesIndependent Disability IssuesConsultant  • Cerebral palsy affect speech, balance, hand control • Author of "Normality", a play about his experiences in mainstream education • Passion, commitment and determination
  42. 42. Simon Stevens: Breaking the RulesFounder of Wheelies DanceClub in Second Life  • All are welcome! • Fun support center for those with disability issues • Some disabled choose to create avatars with disabilities • Some choose to walk, dance, and fly • ...and some...
  43. 43. Simon Stevens: Breaking the Rules...and some... CHOOSE TO BUILDAWESOME ROCKETPOWERED WHEELCHAIRS THAT CANDANCE AND FLY!
  44. 44. Part IV: The Slope ofEnglightenment & the Future
  45. 45. Google Apps: Are They Virtual Worlds?Colors as Avatars, Spreadsheet as Space
  46. 46. 2010: Second Life / Vws in the Web Browser:Viewer “in the cloud” and Canvas Appear
  47. 47. OpenSimulator: Free, Open Source Option“Host it Yourself”, Cost-Effective, & Alpha
  48. 48. ...and in conclusion...Unleash your imaginationBreak the rulesAvoid the hypeNothing lasts forever, embrace change...and most importantly, have fun with it!
  49. 49. And Now: Starry NightTimothy AllenContact Me:FlipperPA Peregrine in SL (FlipperPA in just about every othervirtual world since 1995 out there)tallen@wharton.upenn.eduhttp://www.PeregrineSalon.comhttp://wrds.wharton.upenn.eduYoull find me hanging on PANMA and SLED:http://www.PANMA.orgThe Philadelphia Area New Media Associationhttps://lists.secondlife.com/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/educatorsSecond Life Educators Mailing ListSlides will be available on PeregrineSalon.com!

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