Virtual Worlds Going Mainstream!

I know, I have been a bad bad blogger lately. But rest assured, I have not been idle and now you get to share in the fruits of my labor!

At Training this year I delivered a presentation entitled Games and the Future of Learning at 8:00 AM on the opening day of the conference. To my pleasant surprise, the room was packed and the energy palpable.

I won’t go into the whole story about Tony’s typical last minute shennanigans in pulling together pitches, but suffice to say that I pulled this one off with very very little sleep the night before. That being said, the response to this pitch was overwhelming. Folks were truly pumped about the possibilities for games and virtual social worlds.

Since that pitch much has happened both internally and externally. The e-Learning Guild published their report on Immersive Learning Sims, I wrapped and IBM study on Leadership in Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing games and Lisa Neal at e-Learning Magazine asked Jay Cross, Eilif Trondsen and I to do a piece on VSWs for this months edition (good timing right ahead of the first Virtual Worlds conferece in NY next week).

The e-Learn article is up right now so please have a read and see let us know what you think.

If you liked it, and you did not make my session at Training, I have been working like a maniac to condense this message form this pitch down. I bought some video editing software and hacked together a 9 minute piece that I really believe will leave you with a true sense of the incredible possibilities that the 3D internet offers to learning. I spent over 30 hours to get this thing together, between learning how to film in virtual worlds, to learning how to edit video and audio, to scouring the web for good examples of the sensibilites and audio clips from visionaries like Jimmy Wales from Wikipedia.

Take a look, the first two mintes are talkie, but then I get into some very cool machinima clips from inside virtual worlds that bring the sensibilities alive. To completely mash up some of Jay’s eloquent writing, my latest one liner is “Avatars are Free Range Learners and Virtual Social Worlds are the Learnscape within which they learn.”

So go get a coffee, sit back for a 10 minute break and take a look at movie director debut ; ). More importantly please respond here in this blog so others can share in your widsom.

UGH, unfortunately it seems that this billion dollar lawsuit is causing some drag on our Google pals. For whatever reason, access to this video intermittent. As a backup, I have posted a slightly longer,ergo more detailed version of this video on Acid Planet. The benefit of this site is that you can download the file for your own use, the downside is it costs you two more clicks!

Click HERE to view and/or download.

In the Web 2.0 world is all about Rip, Remix, Resubmit, Repeat. Let me know how to make this better of if you are better at video editing than me, rip it, remix it, resubmit it and lets get the power Wikiography (as opposed to videography) going.

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13 Comments

  1. Well, naturally I like it a lot, Tony. Bravo!

    Everyone enters Second Life with a clean slate. Most resident’s identities are as hidden as if they were in a witness-protection program. Such a deal. No one has to deal with mother. No one will roast in hell for missing confession. You won’t starve. The phone never rings. You don’t owe anybody anything. You can go wherever you want. U2 is giving a free concert. It feels like Woodstock. Love the one you’re with. We must be in heaven, man.

    I can’t help but wonder whether euphoric 3D experiences will enable us to improve real life. Might we apply cultural lessons learned virtually on the real-life side of the screen? Neurons that fire together wire together. The intensity you describe probably creates some very persistent mental pathways.

    You needn’t be in a virtual world to experience flow, repetition, experimentation, experience, etc. If one were to strip the veneer of dysfunctional social routines from a group of people and put them in close proximity, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t get close to FREEDOM. (In my mind’s eye, I see a group of folks at Esalen sharing chores and joy.)

    First we make the web and then the web makes us.

    Reply
  2. Wow, really great presentation! And great use of machinima!

    Reply
  3. Karen Ughetta

     /  March 23, 2007

    Tony, very well done!! Absolutely! This video will help those who haven’t taken the red pill to really understand why Web 3D will change our world…and I do mean that literally. I love Jay’s comment that ‘first we make the web and then the web makes us’.

    In the spirit of making it better, 2 points are not as compelling or clear as others (to me at least). First, the power of presence. Your video shows a concert with participants. I watched twice to make sure I wasn’t missing the point…but how is this really different than the death of distance? Is it as simple as death of distance means I can go anywhere, easily (emphasis on ‘I’) and power of presence is that I can feel like I am close to someone without having to travel to the concert?

    Second, the co-creation. I absolutely agree with the concept but wonder if you missed an opportunity to make an important point. Because our social and/or business status is virtually meaningless in SL, the co-creation allows learners to learn from anyone who can establish credentials….from anywhere. Once again, the flattening of our world.

    One other point. I wonder what SL will do to advance the art of communities. For anyone who read the book Bowling Alone or has tracked the loss of community, I for one find it fascinating when people engage with me in SL from all walks of life, from across the world..and so easily. Trust is different. I wonder if web 3D will once again teach all of us the power of community.

    Reply
  4. Hi Tony:

    I greatly enjoyed seeing this and feel you did a very nice job putting this together. Definitely worth all the hours you put into this. This communications mode–combining video/machinima and audio this way–is powerful and will no doubt be something many of us will want to learn to use. Look forward to talking to you more in New York about your experience in creating it.

    I will get back later to some of the learning issues around virtual worlds but I see some very interesting possibilities, some of which my colleagues at SRI are now exploring. One project in particular deals with learning innovation behaviors through team exercises in virtual worlds (i.e. Second Life). This is still early research and I have not yet analyzed what they are doing in terms of your sensitivities but suspect their project demonstrate much of what you discuss.

    Thanks again. Talk to you soon.

    Reply
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