By: Milla Hansen, Josh Hoffman, Steve Karandy, Alli Utti
The guest speaker in today’s class was Dr. Donna Davis! She spoke about Virtual Reality and blew our minds. Dr. Davis showed us her Second Life avatar and the interactions that happen through it. For example, she brought us to a concert in a lounge. The mind-blowing part was that the singer was actually performing live from behind his computer.
Dr. Davis’ work goes beyond just the social aspects of Social Virtual World, but creates opportunities for people who have physical disabilities. It allows them to engage in experiences that their body doesn’t allow them to. One person who she has seen benefit from Virtual Reality is Fran, a 90 year-old who has Parkinson’s disease. Today’s technology has allowed Fran to step inside the body of her younger self, “The real me.”
Dr. Davis related about how Second Life allowed people with disabilities to imagine themselves as anyone or anything, not bound by their body or circumstances, but only by their own internal perception of themselves, whether that was a younger them, or a tiny gator.
And, while Second Life has been around for a long time, the class seemed unaware of the platform, and were amazed by the program’s abilities, as well as being deeply moved by the stories of the people that Dr. Davis is helping.
It’s safe to say that Dr. Davis opened up the class to whole new worlds.
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Milla Hansen (@milla_hansen_)
Josh Hoffman (@josh23hoffman)
Steve Karandy (@skarandy)
Alli Utti (@alliutti)