All sessions of the VWBPE 2019 Conference are held in Second Life®. All times are in SLT (PST).
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Keynote Presenter: Dr. Tom Boellstorff, University of California Irvine
Description: What possibilities do virtual worlds hold for film as a mode of education? To explore this question I will discuss Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is Me, a documentary by Bernhard Drax. This film chronicles my research on disability and virtual worlds, but the filmmaker was given creative control: my collaborator (Donna Z. Davis) and I appear in the film and helped guide its themes, but made no decisions regarding the film’s final content. The filmmaker’s extensive work included meeting interlocutors in the physical world that the researchers met only online, as well as crafting a narrative about disability and virtual embodiment that comments on rather than replicates the scholarly narrative. I will discuss specific techniques like “virtual reenactment” and “virtual staging” that Drax used in making Our Digital Selves, and reflect on how what I term “paraethnographic film”—film created through a triple collaboration between community members, ethnographers, and filmmakers—holds great potential for virtual education.
BE SURE TO WATCH Our Digital Selves: My Avatar is Me (Bernhard Drax / Draxtor Despres, 2018).
Accessibility: Voice & Transcriptionist
Hosts: Stasia Weston (Aevalle Galicia); Belladonna Laveau (Belladonna Yarrowroot); Stacia Sylvester (Stacia Abonwood); Isidora LaVeau (IsidoraKite Resident); Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary
Description: In this immersive experience, we’ll start by providing a short orientation and then allowing visitors to go through a variation of one of the healing/blessing rituals set up to be self-paced. Our students learn how to prepare such rituals in the virtual world so that they will then have the skills to perform them for their interfaith / pagan communities in the real world. Notecards with important landmarks on the school’s sim will be provided, should visitors wish to explore further.
To demonstrate how we integrate a variety of technologies to provide a multi-layered educational experience.
To engage participants in a virtual ritual demonstration, created by our students.
Access: See the conference website for information about creating a Second Life account. Either SL or Firestorm viewers are recommended. Skype will be used for an orientation to demonstrate the Moodle and Office 365 tools used by the school.
Accessibility: A written script will be available during the presentation.
Location: Sacred Cauldron
This venue will be available until 21 April for individual exploration after the presentation.