This has been three really full, productive and informative days, and I will try to write more about it soon. Right now the workshop is drawing to a close and John Lester is in the middle of his talk: "Knowing When to Let Go: The Mind, the Metaverse, and Metaphor." Why the Metaverse? Perceptual Immersion leads to emotional immersion, shared creativity, our brains and hearts need it. What is the most common thing that goes wrong in the Metaverse? Something which our mind needs the most: metaphor and meaning. "World: Here's something. Brain: What does that remind me of?" What will make the Metaverse broadly successful? The faces of the avatars, being able to convey emotions. Empathy + instant messaging = instant empathy. No data is misleading data, when the avatar reflects the person behind badly or not at all. Example: Sion chickens in SL. Sell chickens or eggs AND their food. Sticky and viral. Lester's recipe: Instant empathy, sticky, viral, not easy, but improving the human condition never is.
Jay Bolter has the absolutely last slot during this workshop with his presentation "Mobile augmented reality and the (some possible) future of virtual/hybrid worlds." He begins by pointing to Second Life as a traditional virtual world. Jay's first example, Club Verona, a play that took place both in SL and IRL, was a hip hop adaptation of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The performative nature of digital media lends it well to be studied through the lens of performance studies theories. Issues invoked of presence, the virtual, liveness, the physical, and mediation center around issues of identity. Jay's second example involves the augmented reality link between SL and RL, the augmented reality project at Georgia Tech. Example number three: Augmented reality games on the mobile phone, ARf and ARhrrr!!! from AEL at Georgia Tech. Other types of AR projects: Blast Theory — "Uncle Roy All Around You" (2003). Mobile AR browsers: KAMRA. Jay predicts that current practices will continue in the 118 existing virtual worlds and also spill into the physical world.