The U.S. EPA continues to successfully implement Web 2.0 tools in an effort to reach out to the public. Their latest launch, Science Wednesday, “will feature experiences related to environmental science, brought to you by scientists, engineers, researchers, and perhaps the occasional science writer from across EPA.” Anyone can access this feature by visiting Greenversations: the U.S. EPA blog.
Science magazine just released an article about the Science conference that was held in the virtual game World of Warcraft in May of this year. Attracted by the Science content and the virtual format, I signed up for a WoW account and attended for most of the 3-day event. I enjoyed the format of the conference, the networking opportunities, the science-related content, and the feeling of being part of something innovative and progressive.
Having never really had time to participate in the social side of conferences I attend in the real world, I found that I really enjoyed the chance to attend the social events that were held in WoW. The Science guild that we joined when registering for the conference has continued on and recently set up a Web site for its members. This Sunday, the Science guild is hosting another event, and I am definitely planning on being there. If anyone is interested in Science, likes new and innovative experiences, I would encourage you to look up a guild member in WoW and ask to join.
The second day of the World of Warcraft Science Conference was held in the sewers in the Undercity. Wow, for a civil engineer like me, it doesn’t get any better than that. How can you not love a conference held in a sewer? Unfortunately my husband and I had to show up late because we picked up our daughter earlier that morning from college and brought her home. At least we hit the tail end of the presentation and then were able to participate in the expedition.
My husband said it was the best conference he has ever been to. But I can’t help but wonder what the state licensing board would think if I tried to turn in professional development hours for it.
I could not pass up the chance to attend the first science conference held in a game so a few weeks ago I set up a World of Warcraft account and became a blood elf paladin on the side of the Horde in the Earthen Ring realm. Today I am sitting on the side of a dirt hill in Bladefist Bay listening to the first presentation of this conference.
Some may think attending such an event is crazy – however, looking at the list of attendees, most seem very serious about the endeavor. The group is made up of professionals and educators from various science-related fields. So why would about 250 serious-minded folks attend a conference in a game?
After spending a significant amount of time within a virtual world environment, even one that is “game-based”, most people can begin to see the future emerging. As more people become comfortable interacting online, many of our “real life” activities will begin to take place in a virtual setting. Serious business will begin to be conducted in these new worlds on a more frequent basis. And as the discussion continues at this presentation, I begin to wonder if someday our real world battles will be held virtually.
So we are here, sitting on a hill in avatar form, participating in a historic event and trying to learn what brought us to this point, where we are going, and how we are trying to find our way through this emerging technology, and hopefully, not get left behind.
As the conference unfolds over the next few days, I will try to continue to update the blog. Oh, and by the way, tomorrow the presentation is being held in a sewer. Now that should be interesting!
In May of this year the World of Warcraft (WoW) will host its first Scientific Conference. Although I am a frequent visitor to the virtual world of Second Life and have even ventured into a few other virtual worlds, I have yet to visit WoW. However, after hearing about this conference, my curiosity was stirred enough to prompt me to find out more about WoW. So I consulted the only WoW expert I know: my 14-year-old son, known in WoW as Poisen Arrow.
After he advised me about which race and which character to choose, he instructed me on how to install the software and sign up for an account. I also found out that I can become an engineer in WoW through an apprenticeship. So if it all works out, I hope to soon become a Blood Elf Paladin with engineering aspirations and begin my journey into WoW so I can try to attend the Scientific Conference from May 9-11.
In case you are interested in taking part in this, you can get more information by visiting the related Web site at: http://mysite.verizon.net/wsbainbridge/convergence.htm