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Oct 07, 2004



I was wondering about the Love Story and virtual world angle earlier. Specifically whether some worlds are better suited for developing intimacy - beyond the obvious opportunity and time for socialization. For example, does game design that encourages role-playing pairings transfer? Or is it just another power-up?


That was a cool potpourri of links. On Bill Gurley's talk: it's exciting to see knowledge of digital worlds keep reaching people in different disciplines. (Reinforces that all this discussion and early activity won't be bound in such a little egg much longer.) Philip's A-Life sketch for Second Life is great too. That kind of strong speculation reminds me not to think small about the future of densely networked persistent environments. At the moment Second Life is one of the smaller worlds, but its vision dwarfs many others combined. Kudos to them for that.

This is also a good opportunity to extend Terra Novans a $50 discount on the following conference I'm working to organize:

Accelerating Change 2004: Physical Space, Virtual Space, and Interface
November 5-7 at Stanford University, Palo Alto CA

($300 regular admission with the discount code "AC2004-TERRANOVA" (no quotes, no spaces, all caps) before Oct. 12, $400 with the code afterwards, and $150 for students regardless.)

Keynote presentations in the Virtual Space theme will come from Cory Ondrejka ("Living the Dream: Business, Community and Innovation at the Dawn of Digital Worlds") and Will Wright, creator of The Sims ("Games as Prosthetics for the Imagination").

Jack Emmert, the lead designer of City of Heroes, will debate Steve Salyer, the new President of IGE, on the topic of "Real Money in Virtual Economies: The Future of User-Created Content".

And lots more on the conference homepage (42+ speakers in a variety of fields).

In a nutshell, AC2004 is a forward-looking conference to strategically explore how communication, simulation, and material technologies are converging to extend human social systems, from business to intelligence to community to play. I hope that many of you with massively multi-player knowledge will come and impress upon the other participants the significance of what we're involved in here.

Let's go beyond the beard and give 'em somethin' new to work about!

I've had a great time designing this event, and I hope you'll find it interesting whether you make it in person, attend virtually, or read about it later. Anyone who would like to reach me can do so at jerrypaffendorf(at)accelerating(dot)org.



Hmm, pretty interesting looking conference Jerry. I think I will attend.



Matt, thanks for expressing your interest. It'll be great having you there!

As a part of the conference there's also an interactive tour of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab on Thursday Nov. 4th, and Tech Night at the super cool SAP Labs building in Palo Alto during registration from 6-9 PM on the 5th. Tech Night will be a relaxed hang-out with virtual worlds demos plus other fun stuff from iRobot, Google, Sony EyeToy (creator Richard Marks is hooking us up with some new aps), Wild Divine (bio feedback game), and a few more. So maybe I'll see you those too.



Update: It's just been confirmed that virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier will debate Will Wright in the final event of AC2004!

The debate is entitled "Finding Humanity in the Interface: Capability Atrophy or Augmentation?" It will cover issues of interface design around the question of whether in coming decades people will be giving up more of their natural abilities to technology, or whether/where we can expect technology to improve our natural abilities, as well as what some of the tradeoffs, challenges, and dangers will be as our interfaces get smarter--and presumably our virtual worlds get richer and richer to the point of..?

If I do say so myself, this match-up rules!

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