By: Julianne Spencer, Nikki Heaston, Nuchwara Youngcharoen, Isabelle Shattuck, Eva Pozarycki, Dustin Valdez
To gear up for our guest speaker Donna Davis’ lecture about Virtual Reality, our team began to research various tiers of Virtual Reality and its relevance to current events — including financial projections for VR, its use in retail, sports, art, and more.
Within the social virtual world, you can build a utopia community that you wish to have. Social virtual worlds become a platform that people can inform news/information to the group members, since the platform allows people who share the same interests to be in a tight-knit virtual community. With that advantage, people can do fundraising through the platform, exchanging information and experiences. Most importantly, social virtual worlds can be a support group for people who share the same illness or disability. They would have a chance to share their stories with people who understand and are in similar situations. Social virtual worlds do not only exist in the form of entertainment as we think, but they also exist in the form of business, like virtual events, communication, and social support.
Some examples that Dr. Davis gave, in regards to creating events within a virtual world were, an annual American Cancer Society fundraiser within Second Life, that is the second largest fundraiser they do, last year raising $250,000. Fortnite hosted a live concert within the game, featuring DJ Marshmello, that was attended by nearly 10 million players of the game. This wasn’t the first concert of it’s kind though. In 2018, Minecraft hosted an event called “Coalchella,” a play on the music festival Coachella. Minecraft also hosted an in-game concert in 2013, in conjunction with EDM label Monstercat. Second Life hosted several virtual concerts in the past, by U2 (2008), the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (2007), and BBC Radio’s One Big Weekend (2006). https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-47116429
We saw an article tweeted out and Kelli’s reply about her kid’s aversion to Weezer Island
Donna’s presentation became instantly more personal as she began her introduction to Fran who used Second Life to help her experience life in a way that she no longer could. Kelli shared a link to a blog that tells Fran’s story:
Throughout Donna’s presentation it was noticeable how passionate she is about her work and Second Life. Donna really explained how Second Life actually does bring people a second life that they can live through no matter who they are. It seemed that Second life had become an important aspect in Donna’s life since she has many personal connections to it as well as knowing how greatly impacted peoples lives have been since their initial start of the virtual reality.
Virtual reality is essentially made for everyone as it is user friendly and allows for individuals to have a life that they don’t. There are more positives to using and experiencing VR life than some would initially expect.
On Twitter we saw a lot of engagement with this topic and lecture. Our team posted about 15 articles and links before Donna’s lecture and a few more into the session. The class’s tweets focused around VR helping users to experience life in a different way – and for some people in ways that are so simple but profound to an individual with a disability. According to Brand 24 we saw 60 mentions and a reach of 12,422.
This tweet sums up the class really well: