Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review of Report/Class

Overall, I thought this course was very interesting, not like anything I had experienced before.  Virtual worlds, and even social media, is not something that I am very involved in.  From experiencing the course, SL firsthand, and conducting research on virtual worlds for the project, I realized just how many capabilities there are with virtual worlds.  

Honestly, I found working in the virtual world to accomplish a project, not just for leisure, to be quite difficult.  It seemed difficult to communicate and get things accomplished without actually meeting with someone in person and seeing their facial reactions and body language.  The fact that I did not have access to a microphone could have also added to the complication and made communication even harder.  So, overall, I did not enjoy accomplishing work through the virtual world.

For our report, my group compared video games with virtual worlds and the implications for the two.  Each member of the group had a different area of the project to present.  As I mentioned earlier, I did not have access to a microphone, so my group decided to present through text, instead of vocally.  Unfortunately, a close family friend passed away the day before we were suppose to present, so I had to be with their family in their time in need during our presentation, and was not able to present.  Although this was an inconvenience for the group, I was able to send them my script to present for me since we were doing it in text.

Overall, for me, this was a great learning experience on a topic that I was not familiar with prior to the class.  I enjoyed the class and learning in an unconventional way.  Thanks and I hope everyone has a wonderful summer!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Legal Position of Avatars in Virtual Worlds

This article talks about the laws of avatars in virtual worlds, which are under controversy.  Avatars are able to do and perform certain things that would be illegal in the real world.  Should they be charged and how should we handle these types of situations?

Since humans are able to purchase virtual inventory with real money, shouldn't they also have legal rights?  Avatars are demanding certain constitutional rights, such as the right to free speech, avatar bodily integrity, privacy, anonymity, etc.  One example of this is when an avatar grabs or kisses another avatar without consent.  There have been many complaints on this type of actions, such as sexual harassment, assault, or violent touching.  I, personally, almost experienced this while exploring SL.  One of the avatars I came in contact with asked me several times if he could bite me because he was a vampire.  Thankfully, SL allowed me to turn down the request, or else it would have turned me into a vampire as well.  Also, while in SL, when going to be beach I encountered a sign that read several rules that put restrictions on the avatars so that their rights were not violated.

This topic can be particularly tricky for people who value their virtual life as much, if not more than their real life.  Although this may seem silly, virtual worlds have blurred the lines between games and reality, and for that reason many are unsure of how to handle these types of situations.  I believe that as virtual worlds evolve, more rules, laws, and regulations will be put into place to protect those using the environments.  I feel this is going to be tricky because virtual worlds can be used by anyone anywhere, so finding the right balance of rules, laws, and accommodations that fit everyone is definitely going to be controversial.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Group Progress

Last week my group met with Professor Turner and we finalized the details of our project.  We decided that we will be presenting sometime next week, or finals week.  We have also decided that we will type out our presentation and enter it into chat in small paragraphs, since we do not all have access to microphones.  We have also finished delegating all areas of our project and will we regrouping tomorrow night to finish all iron out all the details.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Group Progress

This week I was able to meet with one person in my group.  We finalized our topic, which is to compare video games with virtual worlds, like SL, and implications for the two.  We divided the work between the two of us, since our other group member has not been attending our group sessions.  Our most effective way of communication is still email.  We plan to meet again this week to finish our project and hope to present our project within the upcoming week.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Virtual Reality-Group Project

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the purpose of my group's project is to compare video games (which usually have some type of task or quest) to virtual worlds (which usually consist of people just living, but in a virtual environment.)  When researching the topic, I came across this article on a new type of technology that could change virtual reality completely.

The article talks about this new type of gaming technology that you put over your eyes to view a t.v. screen.  This gives you the sensation that you are actually in an alternate universe.  You are also able to move around a do things within this alternate universe, such a climb up ladders by clawing at the air.  They mentioned in the article that one thing they found out quickly was that people will be unable to play fast paced games, or ones that are hard of the eyes because it makes the player physically ill.

Although this is only talked about in a gaming sense, I feel that it could also play a big role in virtual reality, such as for virtual worlds like SL.



I found the articles about hashtags to be quite interesting.  I had never really thought about the purpose or meaning of hashtags before reading those articles.  I do not have a twitter account, except for this class, and I have never used a hashtag before, so that is probably why I found the articles to be so interesting.

The article about #Sandy seemed to have good intentions, and from what they said in the article, it seemed that the hashtag was quite useful.  I thought it was a good idea to use the hashtag for that purpose and to help people easily track and follow updates on Sandy relief efforts.  On the other hand, I found the second article, about the purpose of hashtags, to have a very different view.  They seemed to think that hashtags are getting out of hand, do not serve much of a purpose, and that users could be using their 140 characters in more purposeful ways.

From my experience with hashtags, I usually find them to be humorous, and used to exaggerate situations or photos.  Although it seems hashtags can be used for good and bad things, I feel that they do more harm than good.  The second article gave good examples of hashtags that had good intentions, but were used for bad things.  I could have this opinion on them because I do not use them and do not have a twitter account to see all of the good things they could be used for, but overall, I, also, feel that people could be using their characters in more purposeful ways.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Group Project

Stephen, Abel, and I will be doing our Virtual Worlds group project together.  Since the topic of this project is "Reality" we decided our theme to be comparing video games, which have quests or tasks to complete, to SL, which is just people living in a virtual world.

We have decided to communicate through email since that is how we have been using communicating prior to meeting for our project and it has worked well.  We have also decided to use Skype to communicate while in SL.  I currently have to use a desktop that does not have a microphone for SL so we thought using Skype while in SL to talk would be most efficient.  We will be meeting once a week to work on our project and to meet with Professor Turner.