Clickable Culture   Official Research Blog of Phantom Compass
  Virtual World Meetings As Replacements For Real Ones  
Posted 2007-09-10 by Tony Walsh
Cisco's Christian Renaud thinks that virtual worlds exemplify collaboration technology capable of "drastically [reducing] the need for travel and the resultant emissions." While I agree that virtual worlds could reduce or eliminate travel emissions, I'm not as enthusiastic as Renaud. Leaving aside the environmental impact of actually operating a virtual world, any "drastic" reduction in travel emissions could only result from a "drastic" increase in virtual-world meetings as a replacement for real-world ones. And I don't see that happening in the short term. Longer term, perhaps, depending not only on the quality of the virtual world experience, but on public and private demand.

Replacing real-world meetings with virtual ones--whether via a "world," or some other telepresence environment--is going to take an effort. Meeting attendees will need to demand it, and meeting organizers will need to facilitate and promote it. I don't see any indication this is happening today, having flown via jet plane to Austin, NYC, San Francisco, Sydney, and Tasmania this year--primarily to discuss new technology such as virtual worlds. In particular, I find it mind-boggling that conferences about virtual worlds are not held in virtual space. The "Virtual Worlds" conference slated for this October actually features Cisco's Christian Renaud as a keynote speaker. This would be a great opportunity for Renaud to walk the talk and show up via an avatar instead of in the flesh.
  ... share via email digg bloglines fark reddit newsvine simpy blogmarks magnolia  
Comment posted by TroyMcLuhan
September 10, 2007 @ 11:30 am
For organizations that were born in Second Life (and yes they are "real" organizations), like the International Spaceflight Museum planning group, the SciLands Senate, the Second Life Library, or even the Electric Sheep Company, most meetings are held inworld.

“Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever.” - Thomas Edison, 1889
Comment posted by Tony Walsh
September 10, 2007 @ 11:45 am
For me, the question is whether these in-world meetings are "saving" real-world travel, or simply providing a means to meet for people who wouldn't travel for that purpose in real life.

Personally, there are events I attend in Second Life only because they are held in SL--there's no way I'd travel to attend them otherwise.

I think ESC and other metaverse developers are good examples of companies that wouldn't even exist if not for the convenience of virtual world travel. The ESC wouldn't be as large or geographically diverse as it is if not for something like SL. I don't see this as travel "saved."
Comment posted by Secureplay
September 10, 2007 @ 3:36 pm
Virtual worlds are awful for providing the rich interactions that you can have face-to-face. The most interesting technologies are some of the advanced video conferencing systems where there is a video "wall" between the two parties providing 1 to 1 video presentation in a room designed to "match".
Comment posted by TroyMcLuhan
September 10, 2007 @ 4:26 pm
Some day, the video conferencing system that Secureplay describes above will seem old-fashioned.

Imagine this: Video cameras and other cheap sensors monitor your face and other relevant things (like maybe the position of your hands). Those inputs get processed real-time to control an avatar that looks like you and mimics you in every way (certified by a third-party company, if others request it). The surroundings for the meeting could be whatever you like, from a dull office room with coffee stains on the carpet, to a crystal palace atop Mount McKinley. Movies, 3D simulations, presentation slides and the like can be pulled in seamlessly.

Of course, if the others in the meeting are ok with it, you could have a unicorn avatar, and you could use processing to auto-remove nervous tiks (which is why the others might request certified accurate facial expressions).

In summary, the idea that face-to-face (as it exists now) is the richest possible way to interact is not correct. I'd call what I described above (which is a sort of mashup of face-to-face and virtual worlds) as "augmented face-to-face".
Comment posted by MattMihaly
September 10, 2007 @ 8:58 pm
We (Iron Realms) has been doing virtual meetings almost exclusively internally for over ten years now. We hold our weekly meetings inside of one of our virtual worlds - Achaea - though were it convenient to hold face to face meetings I'd prefer them.

For our Earth Eternal project, we do daily Skype meetings, usually while logged into Earth Eternal so we can run around together and look at whatever we're talking about but I have to admit that the virtual world adds very little of value to the meeting. Face to face would, again, be infinitely preferable if there we were all in physically the same place.

As SecurePlay says, virtual worlds are currently pretty bad venues for this by comparison. TroyMcLuhan's theoretical system sounds nice but it's more of an extension of videoconferencing than virtual worlds.

[ Detailed Search ]
Clickable Conversation
on 4159 entries

Dinozoiks wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that Tony. Just posted a bunch of other tips here... Hope it helps someone... Dino...
in Dino Burbidge's '10 Things To Remember When Designing For Kids Online'

yes, many of the free little games are crappy. but as an artist who has recently published free content on the itunes app store,…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

I vote for popup radial menus. Highlight a bit of text, the push and hold, Sims-style radial menu pops up with Copy, Paste, etc....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please

Hey Tony! A client of mine is looking to hire an internal Flash game dev team to build at a really cool Flash CCG…
in Dipping Into Toronto's Flash Pool

Yeah, there's a lot of weird common sense things I've noticed they've just omitted from the design. No idea why though....
in More iPhone Gestures, Please

It also bears noting there's no mechanism right now for a developer to offer a free trial for the iPhone; the App Store isn't…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

@GeorgeR: It's on my shopping list :) I've heard good things about it as well. And Cro Mag Rally. @andrhia: meh, I don't know…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy? get what you pay for, you know? I actually bought Trism based on early buzz, and it's truly a novel mechanic. I've been…
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

The only one I've heard good things about is Super Monkey Ball. Have you given that a whirl yet?...
in Free iPhone Games Are Awful: Strategy?

Advance warning: this frivolent comment is NOT RELATED or even worth your time ... But whenever i hear "Collada", i think of that SCTV…
in Electric Sheep Builds Its Own Flock

Clickable Culture Feeds:

RSS 2.0 ATOM 1.0 ALL



Clickable Culture
Copyright (c)1999-2007 in whole or in part Tony Walsh.

Trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments owned by the Poster. Shop as usual, and avoid panic buying.