Saturday, January 31, 2009

Virtual coexistence using a wiki-enhanced Second Life platform

Prior to the merging of wiki-based collaboration and VR simulators, the idea that participants could design information-rich virtual worlds seemed unthinkable. Second Life has begun supporting simulators that have the capability for participants to create, share and collaboratively edit documents that play a critical role within a simulation world. For example, a virtual nation or community within Second Life may now attempt to write a constitution document that exists as a readable/shareable object in this virtual space. Or more specifically, a group of founders may co-create its constitutional framework, thus adding significant intellectual depth to any interaction within a socio-political experiment in Second Life.

In this application, participants are Israeli and Palestinian youth, custodians of a jointly-owned land that is cursed with unevenly distributed natural resources. The basic premise of the exercise is to force participants on either side to create an information-rich coexistence city that contends with persistent complications introduced through the simulation exercise.

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