I was in Los Angeles today for a stimulating series of conversations about academic research into virtual worlds, sponsored by the USC Network Culture Project. It’s humbling being in the room with a dozen people who are all so much smarter than me. But I learned quite a bit about the state of research in this cutting-edge area.
Among the themes we identified as particularly interesting and vital for further research are:
- Civic Engagement
- Interactions of people and technology
Among the needs in this area:
- more interdisciplinary and multi-methodological approaches to research
- greater cross-national dialogue and collaboration
The main challenges related to these new spaces as both public and private, with all of them being owned by corporate entities but resembling public spheres.
Really heady and interesting stuff. My brain is full now. Time to head home…