August 11, 2022

Virtual Worlds with Donna Davis

Donna Davis is the director of the Strategic Communication Master’s program at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus. She has spent the last few years of her research studying the effects of virtual worlds on those with disabilities, in particular those with Parkinson’s. Today she talked to our class about some of the results from case studies done on people with disabilities and their use of virtual worlds and communities, like Second Life.

“Second Life is a 3D world where everyone you see is a real person and every place you visit is built by people just like you.” – Second Life

Second Life allows you to:
– Travel with friends to thousands of places
– Create relationships with millions of other Second Life members
– Dress up and design a new 3D you
– Create thousands of new experiences
– Discover artistic talents

Donna Davis also made a point to stress the definition of virtual worlds and how they are not just “video or online games”. Virtual worlds are places of culture realized by computer programs through the Internet.

Some readings, articles, and videos related to Virtual Worlds:

Making a Case for Virtual Healthcare Communications

The Drax Files: World Makers [ Episode 13: Creations for Parkinson’s]

A New Virtual Reality Tool Brings the Daily Trauma of the Syrian War to Life

Stanford Experiment Shows that Virtual Superpowers Encourage Real-world Empathy