Thursday, October 16, 2014

Research in Virtual Environments - Update

My quest continues to apply existing research findings from my doctoral program. Progress has been made to create my own virtual world region and incorporate artful freebees available via Creative Commons licensing. Family members have joined in to experience virtual field trips and communitie across distance. Fusion Unlimited Networks Research was incorporated as a non-profit company in March to use simulation for philanthropy in the community. In May, I joined colleagues to work part-time at UCF's Institute for Simulation & Training in METIL. A huge milestone was the publication of my dissertation by Proquest in October 2014. For anyone who is interested, a .pdf document is available from the CIRET website. Naturally, my virtual region has to become a tribute to space exploration and marine exploration, and well.. all exploration!

Space Room in Virtual Cabin Retreat
Delightful's Region on Kitely
Discovering new pathways of inquiry are sought to design research questions regarding virtual experiences. Possibilities abound as the OpenSim platform and community matures. Many researchers are trying to become versed in multiple platforms, exchanging knowledge along the way. Another great way to learn is from children of course. Some of my grand-children are old enough now to join me together in the same place or apart to gather virtually. We have created memories to treasure of shared, virtual experiences more meaningful with loved ones. I am planning on having some socials at the cabin to get folks together and in some cases, get them back together for mini-reunions. Our research and scholarship continues and so should our socialization.

Discussing Lego Camp Together
Discussing Lego Camp Together at a Distance
Creating and participating in mirror worlds offer the potential for using virtual environments for training. The challenge has been how to inexpensively create models and environments. Continued involvement with the MOSES OpenSim community afforded the opportunity to learn about a scanning project of the actual location where I work. Participating in making the machinima below was a bonding event in itself. I cannot wait to learn the digital literacies to get behind the camera and make stories myself. Considering the talent and generosity within the community, it won't be long for me to learn. Many people are excited to make stuff to print in 3D. I want scan stuff to put into 3D worlds. Again, the possibilities are thrilling.

When I see the output exemplified in the machinima below of collaboration among an open community such as MOSES led by the US military, my hope increases that we will be able to solve some really wicked problems in our world.