Immersion 2013


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Final module in LIBR559M 2013

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Immersion 2013

  1. 1. Learning objectives (March 18th to April 5th 2013) • Define immersion & some of its inherent qualities as experience in virtual worlds (i.e. being awash in stimuli, feeling distorted or warped sense of time, a sense of ‘flow’) • Discuss how immersive worlds may facilitate collaboration for information professionals • Compare and contrast immersive activities in virtual and gaming worlds • Discuss immersion for information professionals e.g., research, online, virtual worlds "NOT LONG AGO WE WERE SPECTATORS, passive consumers of mass media. Now, on YouTube andblogs and Facebook and Twitter, WE are media. We approach [these media] as invitations to participate —as experiences to immerse ourselves in at will. – The Art of Immersion The snowy mountains of Dun Morogh in World of Warcraft “…while you’re exploring the lands of Azeroth and Kalimdor, you’ll be treated to a multitude of different regions, each with its own visual style…variety and detail can be seen in the lush forests in Ashenvale and Feralas … the snowy mountains in Dun Morogh… the savannah of the Barrens, the plains of Mulgore, and the deserts of Tanaris…” What is immersion? defn. im·mer·sion (ĭ-mûrzhə n, -shə n) 1. The action of immersing someone or something into water 2. Absorption in a situation or project; deep involvement: "total immersion in their work" 3. Origin: 1425–75; late Middle English < Late Latin immersiōn- (stem of immersiō ) dipping in LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  2. 2. Activities for Module VI (Immersion) • Despite the decline of some virtual worlds, there seems to be a continued exploration of platforms with some librarians and educators remaining undeterred about their value Activity #1 – As examples, read one (1) of the following articles from the literature o Hill V, Meister M. Virtual worlds and libraries: gridhopping to new worlds. Coll Res Libr News. 2013;74(1):43-47. o Mon LM. Professional avatars: librarians and educators in virtual worlds. J Document. 2012;68(3):318-329. • Point out salient parts of the article you select. Post comments to the discussion area Activity #2 – Sign up for an account in and explore a virtual world on the web o Spend 15-20 minutes in your virtual world o Report back to us about your experience o What features do you feel constitute immersion in your virtual world? o Can you find a library or archive in your virtual world? o Reflect on using virtual worlds in libraries and information organizations o Discuss why you believe information professionals should / should not use immersive worlds to deliver services; share your ideas with your peers o If you do not have the required hardware to explore a virtual space, let your instructor know Based on your selection of a final project, prepare for your presentation The vivid colours of Everquest 2 LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  3. 3. Background • The goal in M6 is to examine immersive experiences on the web via multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs), multiplayer online role-playing games (MORGs) & virtual worlds • Virtual worlds have evolved from their early web 2.0 gaming predecessors • Virtual worlds tend to be computer-simulated environments inhabited by avatars (users) that interact with simulated environments, objects, people • Early web-based games were designed to allow players to communicate with each another; they were inherently interactive and social • Depending on the type of interactions, other social expectations may be evident online • For example, massive multiplayer online role-playing games exploit the cognitive and social skills of players; they may support gamers by in-game guilds or clans; some players find themselves as leaders of these groups • Virtual worlds are being framed as 3D multiplayer role-playing games or multi-user virtual environments (MUVEs) and seen as powerful spaces for educational purposes • The sense of "immersion" and connection to others makes virtual worlds ideal vehicles for training, hiring, education and collaboration • In 2013, we are obviously in a period of experimentation where three-dimensionality is on the rise and web experts are starting projects to create the 3-D web Source: Wikicommons "You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience." Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  4. 4. What factors are necessary to have an immersive experience? • Immersion depends on many factors: interface design, 3D (three-dimensionality), sound ambience, interactivities afforded for multiple users & potential for pleasure and escape • Wikipedia defines immersion in an almost quasi-religiously way as: "...the state of consciousness where an immersants awareness of physical self is diminished by being surrounded in an engrossing environment. This is frequently accompanied by spatial excess, intense focus, distorted sense of time and effortless action. The term is used to describe immersive virtual reality" Source: Wikicommons • Immersive environments are therefore social, interactive, computer-created and animated - a "hybrid world" where users immerse themselves in work and play • For some years, the quintessential virtual online world was Second Life • SL required you to create an avatar; most immersive worlds require you to do the same • Immersive worlds are thought to be synonymous with virtual reality but without the sense that they are trying to simulate "reality" • Immersion is a simulation of reality; it may be fictional or an abstract version of reality… users must feel a sense of being immersed beyond this life or “their subjective reality” • Game designers see immersion as a chief virtue of playing games • Game studies and game theory seem to be separate fields of enquiry • 3D virtual learning environments (VLEs) such as Active Worlds, Atlantis Remixed, EverQuest are very popular. Some media bridge reality with elements of immersion and wearable-computer devices and Wii. Other immersive platforms include Open Cobalt, Gaia Online, Inworldz, Kaneva, Onverse, RocketOn and RocketOn, Unity 3D • Role play and identification with virtual avatars are central to learning in immersive worlds, but learners need choice over the characters adopted to be satisfied LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  5. 5. Versu – Interactive storytellingIn March 2013, the creators of Second Life announced a new interactive storytelling platformcalled Versu. Versu is a living storybook and a form of interactive fiction. The Versu interactiveplatform builds experiences around characters and social interactions of those characters.Each story sets out a premise and some possible outcomes. As a player, you get to select acharacter, guide their choices, watch other characters react to what youve chosen, andaccomplish (or fail at) your chosen goals. As a content creator, youll create your owncharacters, improvise new dialogue and gestures for them, and even build entirely new storiesand games for others to enjoy.Experiences in Versu are more detailed and complex than choose-your-path stories seenbefore. The engine uses social AI by Richard Evans (Black and White, Sims 3) and conversationmodeling by Emily Short (Galatea, Alabaster) to allow characters to react in-persona towhatever situations they encounter — so when you select an action, those around you willrespond dynamically based on their moods, character abilities, and the narrative situation. LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  6. 6. Virtual worlds • Virtual worlds have evolved historically as an extension of online games • Most virtual worlds are designed to come in many shapes and sizes. Some have medieval themes like World of Warcraft. Some are set in outerspace like EVEOnline. • Second Life is the one immersive virtual space used most often by information professionals, and requires the use of an avatar and teleportation, a simulated kind of flying (levitating) from place to place. If you want to fly, try SL. • Second Life is visited by millions • From 2006-2010, many information organizations bought property and sponsored events in Second Life. Virtual worlds have evolved from these early days and now point to an emerging three-dimensionality on the web • In 2009, the Alliance Library System (ALS), ran the InfoIsland Archipelago where ~40 reference librarians worked on an in-world reference desk for 80 hours per week. InfoIsland is now closed • The idea of immersion is used as a theme by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) for its information literacy workshops, see Immersion More about Immersive Education at The Immersive Education Initiative is an international collaboration of universities, colleges, research institutes, consortia and companies working to develop open standards, best practices, platforms, and communities for virtual reality and game-based learning. LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  7. 7. Immersion & flow • Narratives and games inspire contrasting forms of immersion, even brain-altered states • When you are caught up in a story, you assume a yielding, cooperative attitude; the state of being is said to be similar to hypnosis (according to participants) • In games, you may be ceaselessly active and in a state of constant flow • Flow: the psychology of optimal experience is a book written by Hungarian-born psychologist Mihaly Csíkszentmihályi (pronounced "shicks sent me high"). • He describes flow as an actual zone …an enjoyable feeling of oneness with an activity • In Flow, Csíkszentmihályi outlines his theory that people are more happy when doing something they love • They enter into a state of flow where concentration or absorption is complete • The idea of flow is similar to being in the zone or in the groove; flow is an optimal state of intrinsic motivation, where we are fully immersed. This is a feeling characterized by a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are temporarily forgotten StormEye is an immersive installation in Second Life on the New Media Consortium campus, NMC Campus West sim LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  8. 8. Immersion synonymsPerchance a time will come when we shall not be content to go back and forth but to sail away to whole new worlds of light and life … where our friends are” Thoreau (1817-1862) • The use of the word immersion and immerse are common in religious experience and meditation, and related to trance-inducing; hyper-reality; ritual; transfiguration • Baptism is literally how one is supposed to immerse oneself into water as an initiation • Wagners Bayreuth Theatre is one that "foreshadows immersive experiences”…. • It asks the audience “to sit in a dark theatre, sometimes for hours, surrounded by myth, imagery and oceans of orchestral sound…what Germans call Gesamtkunstwerk” • Holograms; haptic device; altered states are related synonyms • Paul Valéry said museums should use immersive art , visuals, music, building design and presentation ... and an appropriate ambience to welcome users • Robbie Cooper inspired the filmmaker Errol Morris to create the "Interrotron method". Morris uses a process to interview people through modified autocues; his Interrotron uses two-way mirrors to reflect images towards a viewer while gazing into a camera • He connects live video of himself into the Interrotron so he can ask questions and the interviewee retains eye contact, while expressing thoughts directly into the camera • Matrix (the movie, explores simulated reality) • Language immersion programs; the Berlitz company has trademarked immersion for language learning Wagners Bayreuth Theatre is one that "foreshadows immersive experiences”…. LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  9. 9. Final steps in our adventure… "Following the light of the sun... we left the Old World" - Christopher Columbus, Isles of the Blessed • Presentations during week of April 1-5th 2013 • Course evaluations before April 8th 2013The term social media refers to a range of web-based applications that people use to socialize andnetwork in the 21st century. Social media is a critical component of the future work of informationprofessionals, and position us in highly-social, interactive spaces, where we can facilitatecommunication, networked communities and collaboration with our user groups. These virtual spacescan be described as social, participatory, grassroots, global; attributes critical to work in the informationage. This space requires new skills for learners and has an enormous impact on the work of informationprofessionals.This course has explored the use of social media as interactive information channels as well ashow the social media’s underlying principles change how we learn and interact with each otherin the digital age. Our focus has been on how librarians and archivists use social media tocommunicate with users and constituencies. One of the critical threads in LIBR559M is howinformation organizations can use social media strategically in order to deliver innovativeservices and programs. Your goal is to go into the field and apply some of the best research andevidence to creating new programs and services in information organizations. LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013
  10. 10. References • Bredl K, Groß A, Hünniger J. The avatar as a knowledge worker? How immersive 3D virtual environments may foster knowledge acquisition. Elec J Know Man. 2012;10(1):15-25 • Boellstorff T. Coming of age in Second Life: an anthropologist explores the virtually human. Princeton University Press, 2010. • Buckland A, Godfrey K. Save the time of the avatar: Canadian academic libraries using chat reference in multi-user virtual environments. Reference Librarian. 2010;51(1):12-30. • Clarke C. Second Life in the library: an empirical study of new users experiences. Program: Electronic Library & Information Syst. 2012;46(2):242-257. • Cote D, Kramer B, Nahl D, Ashford R. Academic librarians in Second Life. J Library Innovation. 2012;3(1):20–47. • Dickey MD. Girl gamers: the controversy of girl games and the relevance of female-oriented game design for instructional design. Brit J Educ Tech. 2006;37(5):785–793. • Erdman J. Reference in a 3-D virtual world: preliminary observations on library outreach in Second Life. Ref Libr. 2007;47(2):29-39. • Floyd JM, Frank I. Beyond Second Life: new immersive worlds for educators and librarians. Library Hi Tech News. 2012;29(6):3. • Hedreen RC. Exploring virtual librarianship: Second Life Library 2.0. Internet Ref Serv Q. 2008;13(2+3):167-9. • Hill V, Meister M. Virtual worlds and libraries: gridhopping to new worlds. Coll Res Libr News. 2013;74(1):43-47. • Laskowski L, Ward D. Building next generation video game collections in academic libraries. J Acad Librarianship. 2009;35(3):267–273. • Luo L. Reference service in Second Life: an overview. Reference Services Review. 2008;36(3):288-300. • Mabrito M. Student as avatar: a study of informational preferences in a virtual world class. J Online Learn Teach. 2012;8(2). • Mon LM. Professional avatars: librarians and educators in virtual worlds. J Documentation. 2012;68(3):318-329. • Schott G. Health and digital gaming: the benefits of a community of practice. J Health Psych. 2006;11(2):309–16. • Swanson K. Second Life: a science library presence in virtual reality. Sci Tech Libr. 2007;27:79-86. • Tennant R. The end of ALAs Second Life Island. Libr J. 2012;137(3):14. • Wrzesien M, Rey B, Alcañiz M, Baños R, Martínez MG. Virtual representations of the self: engaging teenagers in emotional regulation strategies learning. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2012;181:248–52. • Wusteman J. Virtual research environments: what is the librarians role? J Librarianship Info Sci. 2008;40(2):67. • Zverevich V. Real and virtual segments of modern library space. Library Hi Tech News. 2012;29(7):5-7. LIBR 559M Social media for information professionals – Module VI (Immerse) March-April 2013