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Virtual Worlds, the Origins and Evolution of a New Medium

Monday, March 30, 2009

6 p.m. Core Member Reception
6 p.m. Member's Reception -For CHM Members only
7 p.m. Program

1401 N. Shoreline Boulevard
Mountain View, CA 94043

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Call (650) 810-1898 for information.

Like the invention of the motion picture in the late nineteenth century, the virtual world of the late twentieth century is a new way of human interaction. Of course, the Virtual World diverges from the medium of film in many important ways particularly in that it is not a passive medium, but is instead interactive and immersive—in which everyone is an actor.

In the Virtual Worlds industry of the early twenty-first century we are now witnessing the rise of great directors creating masterfully crafted experiences; the coming of voice like the talkies of the 1920s; the large and expensive grid-based worlds akin to the big sets of the studio system;” and the numerous small worlds projects which feel like early independent films. Machinima, the use of Virtual Worlds to create short movies, is another fascinating parallel.

For this special evening panel we have convened an in-person group of avatars of the medium of Social Virtual Worlds, in which the users create most of the spaces and interactions within them.

Our panelists include one of the creators of the first avatars, a leading practitioner of in-world life, a business visionary behind the studio system of Virtual Worlds, and a journalist/pundit of in-world and off-world news and views of the inhabitants and industry.

Bruce Damer, a Virtual Worlds pioneer, visionary and historian will lead off with a condensed history of the medium and then pose key questions to the panel and the audience about where the medium is today and where it may be headed.

The Computer History Museum offers a variety of membership levels. To find out more, please visit our individual membership or call 650-810-2722.


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