Update: 4/18/2009: It looks like me, Yair, and Barbara are going to be heading to the Boston Common after this to join a later Nerd Fun event to see Wolverine http://www.meetup.com... (http://www.meetup.com/NerdFunBoston/calendar/10207141/) ... anyone wanna come and meet the group forming at the food court in the Transportation Building at City Place?
Demonstration and Discussion
Stepping into Virtual Worlds:
A Cambridge Science Festival Event: "Tech Night"
Friday, May 1, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m:
"Online space opens new potential for examining digital communication and relationships. Join us in looking at the diverse uses of virtual worlds ranging from research to education to entertainment. Speakers include Drew Harry, a graduate student in the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab, and John Lester, the Operations Director of the Boston office of Linden Lab- the creators of Second Life".
About Drew Harry:
"Drew Harry is a Research Assistant with the Sociable Media Group at the MIT Media Lab. He's interested in the possibilities of virtual worlds for creating new kinds of mediated social spaces. His past projects have explored identity issues in online games, sharing presence and location on mobile devices, and web-based collaboration. He was a member of the inaugural class at Olin College, and holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. While at Olin he worked at IBM Research and Motorola Labs, as well founding Thinkature – a web collaboration startup" [ About Thinkature: http://thinkature.com... (http://thinkature.com/about/) ].
Drew Harry's page, MIT Media Lab: http://web.media.mit.... (http://web.media.mit.edu/~dharry/)
About John Lester:
"John Lester joined Linden Lab (the creators of Second Life) in 2005, bringing experience in online community development as well as a background in the fields of healthcare and education. Previously, John was the Information Systems Director for the Department of Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he pioneered the use of the web in 1993 to create online communities supporting patients dealing with neurological disorders. As a Research Associate in Neurology at Harvard Medical School, he also created online collaborative education environments for professors and students to advance the case-based teaching method in medical education.
"John leads Linden Lab's customer market development in Education and Healthcare. He acts as a strategist and evangelist for people using Second Life in teaching, academic and healthcare research, medical education, simulation, and scientific visualization. He also acts as Linden Lab's Boston Operations Director, having founded Linden Lab's Boston-area office and helping it grow successfully".
About Second Life (Wikipedia):
"Second Life (SL) is a virtual world developed by Linden Lab that launched on June 23, 2003 and is accessible via the Internet. A free client program called the Second Life Viewer enables its users, called Residents, to interact with each other through avatars. Residents can explore, meet other residents, socialize, participate in individual and group activities, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another, or travel throughout the world, which residents refer to as the grid. Second Life caters for users aged over eighteen, while its sister site Teen Second Life is restricted to users aged between thirteen and eighteen [...]
"Second Life has an internal currency, the Linden dollar (L$). L$ can be used to buy, sell, rent or trade land or goods and services with other users. Virtual goods include buildings, vehicles, devices of all kinds, animations, clothing, skin, hair, jewelry, flora and fauna, and works of art. Services include "camping", wage labor, business management, entertainment and custom content creation (which can be broken up into the following 6 categories: building, texturing, scripting, animating, art direction, and the position of producer/project funder). L$ can be purchased using US Dollars on the LindeX exchange provided by Linden Lab, independent brokers or other users".
Where to meet:
T.J. Maher will be standing outside the Museum starting at 5:30 pm, herding nerds. No, he didn't come up with that term. It was in use long before he joined this group last May and went all gung-ho. T.J. is 5 foot 7, with short brown hair, blue eyes, a "Hello My Name is T.J." nametag, and a red MEETUP sign attached to his black messenger bag. We can grab seats at 5:45 pm.