If you are interested in how virtual worlds are being used in government, you will get a chance to find out more at the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds Conference held May 13-14 in Washington, D.C.
Paulette Robinson, assistant dean for teaching, learning & technology at the National Defense University, iCollege, said virtual worlds can be used as a much more than just a game.
“Just think of Second Life, the most common public virtual world, and you know these worlds are much more than a game,” said Robinson, who also spearheaded the consortium. “In government, virtual worlds are used for information delivery to the citizens, meetings/conferences, education/training, rapid prototyping, and analytical workspaces.”
Sixteen hundred members from federal, state, local and international governments, academia and corporate sectors came together to form FCVW to support and individuals and organizations to improve government collaboration through the use of virtual worlds to enrich collaborative online experiences. The consortium provides a venue to share best practices and lessons learned for the collaborative use of virtual worlds, address common challenges, and create structures to share resources. Communication channels include a email announcements list, wiki knowledge base and events.
Keynote speakers this year include Indiana University professor of telecommunications Edward Castronova, founder of scholarly virtual world studies and an expert on the societies of large-scale online games; Clark Aldrich, author of “Learning Online with Games, Simulations, and Virtual Worlds: Strategies for Online Instruction”; and Tony O’Driscoll, a founding member of IBM Global Service’s Strategy and Change consulting practice.
Leading the government presenters is Eric Hackathorn from NOAA, a Fed 100 winner for his work in virtual worlds, who will talk about virtual worlds as a platform for government collaboration.