nmc virtual worlds

Symposium on the Impact of Digital Media

published 07.Oct.06 by Alan Levine

October 10-21, 2006 on the NMC Campus

This month the NMC will host a 12-day symposium on the NMC Campus in Second Life focusing on the impact of digital media on all aspects of our daily lives. At the intersection of virtual 3-D space and the “flat-web” of the browser, virtual worlds like Second Life are active settings for collaboration and socialization. The Symposium on the Impact of Digital Media will explore the ways we encounter and understand digital media — inside such a setting.

This virtual symposium is informed by the MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning, a two-year project in which the NMC is helping to explore the impact of digital media on our lives in a variety of ways, and encouraging dialog among experts, visionaries, and thought leaders from around the globe. This unique event brings that dialog to the current residents of Second Life. The symposium is also a precursor to the upcoming NMC Online Conference on Digital Media (October 24-25), which will reflect on some of the same themes.

Howard RheingoldThe event will run from Tuesday, October 10 through Saturday, October 21. The 12 days of activities culminate in a live presention on the NMC Campus by Howard Rheingold, author of SmartMobs, among many other books and articles, on October 21.

The singular focus of the 12-day symposium is to consider how the applications of digital media are changing our lives, and how they have impacted the ways we work, learn, collaborate, and even socialize. Recurring themes will be:

  • Identity and self-image
  • Credibility and the reliability of information
  • Civic and social involvement
  • The arts, creativity, and design
  • Social networking
  • Pedagogical potentials and implications

Digital media, for this event, is interpreted broadly as anything from the traditional uses of the medium for creating and sharing rich content to the explosion of blogs for self expression, and increasingly, real time interpretation of news and breaking events. Also included is the notion of shared content via sites like Flickr, YouTube, and, social sites like FaceBook and MySpace, and more powerful content and media search tools.

A range of events and activities will take place over the twelve-day symposium, including a photo contest, panels and discussions, a running poster exhibit, and a visit from Henry VIII, just to name a few.

A complete schedule has been posted at the NMC Campus Welcome Center and is available here. Symposium Schedule

Please join us and add your voice (and avatars) to the conversation!