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Oct 08, 2005



Contact: Edith Sachs, New York Law School, 212.431.2872, [email protected]


Entries Can Be Viewed at www.nyls.edu/stateofplay; Click on ‘Press & Blog’

NEW YORK, October 7, 2005 --- As the third annual State of Play conference on law and virtual worlds proceeds at New York Law School, the judges of the Virtual Public Space Design Competition have announced the winners of this groundbreaking contest, which invited participants to submit their best examples of public spaces and structures created for virtual worlds.

The first-place winner was Relay for Life, submitted by Randal Moss of the American Cancer Society Futuring and Innovation Center, Keith Morris, and Jerry Paffendorf, and created in Second Life. The public space consisted of an elevated circular track where a 24-hour walkathon to raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society took place. The track also encompassed a disco, an amphitheater, a silent auction park, a small yacht club, and a colossal main stage that hosted a virtual-world beauty pageant.

The second-place winner was Infinite City 360, an “an augmented environment for entertainment, information visualization, and education” submitted by James Tunick, Miro Kirov, Houston Riley, and Bradley Leinhardt of Studio IMC.

The third-place winner was Fracture, a vision of a virtual building based on the concept of electronic “pathways”; the layout is inspired by electronic circuitry, and users of this public structure follow different pathways within the venue depending on their interest. The design was submitted by Jeffrey Palenski.

The fourth-place award went to Dev Map, a virtual reconfiguration of the Dutch Electronic Arts Festival and the urban space—Rotterdam—where the festival took place, submitted by Thomas Soetens and Kora Van den Bulcke of Workspace Unlimited.

Submissions will be showcased at the State of Play III: Social Revolutions conference and form the centerpiece of a panel on public architecture in the metaverse. The panel takes place on Saturday, October 8 at 2 p.m. and can be viewed via live Webcast at www.nyls.edu/stateofplay.

The judging panel included Anne Beamish, architect and professor, University of Texas; Carl Goodman, deputy director, the Museum of the Moving Image; Harvard University’s Nathan Glazer, renowned public intellectual and author of The Public Face of Architecture; Yehuda Kalay, architect and professor, University of California at Berkeley; Helen Stuckey, curator, Australian Centre for the Moving Image; Edward Valaukas, editor in chief, First Monday; and Jonathan Zittrain, professor at and principal of the Oxford Internet Institute, Jack N. & Lillian R. Berkman Visiting Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal Studies at Harvard Law School, and a founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

“We judges were struck by the variety of the submissions,” said Harvard’s Professor Glazer. “Because this was the first-ever contest of its type for virtual worlds, people tried all sorts of things, from the conventional to the truly far-out. I believe that next year’s competition will show a quantum jump in the creativity and originality of the entries.”

“We were delighted to receive 26 submissions representing an extremely wide diversity of concepts and interpretations of public space,” said New York Law School Professor Beth Noveck, director of the school’s Institute for Information Law and Policy and founder of the State of Play conference. “There was an equally wide diversity of opinion among the judges, which sparked valuable debate, criticism, and reflection on public space and how it should function in both the real and virtual worlds. We found it particularly exciting that these design proposals were submitted exclusively by amateurs, rather than by professional architects or artists.”

The Norman Lear Center, based at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California, plans to incorporate ideas from the competition into an ongoing project known as the Grand Intervention, which will develop design proposals for a new 16-acre civic park in downtown Los Angeles.

Winning submissions as judged by the panel of experts receive cash prizes and featured publication both on the State of Play Web site and in First Monday, the renowned Internet journal that in 2004 received more than six million hits.

The State of Play Virtual Public Space Design Competition was sponsored by the State of Play, the annual conference on law, video games, and virtual worlds, presented by New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law & Policy, Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and Yale Law School’s Information Society Project. This year’s conference is taking place on October 6–8 at New York Law School.

For more information about the State of Play III: Social Revolutions conference, please visit www.nyls.edu/stateofplay.


Here are the pics so far. When I find my cable I'll be loading stuff up too:



Philip looks sparkly in that shaggy Danah's hat, kind of like a mad scientist but happier. Nice piccies! :)


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