Category Archives: Virtual Worlds

CFP: Immersive Education Summit, Boston, June 2013

There is an open call for Immersive Education 2013 (iED 2013), to be held at Boston College 3rd-6th June 2013, for papers, general sessions (presentations, posters, panels, demos and workshops), and outliers (novel late-breaking research and technology).

March 1st is the abstract deadline for papers, March 15th is the abstract deadline for general sessions, and April 15th is the abstract deadline for outliers. Details are available on the official Immersive Education (iED) Summit website.

Building on the success of the previous seven years of Immersive Education conferences, the four-day iED 2013 event will feature 3 tracks (Practitioner, Research and Business tracks) and an entire day dedicated to hands-on workshops. iED 2013 is open to the global academic and business communities and experts in immersion, simulation, learning games, virtual reality, and augmented/mixed reality.

Game Based Learning / Serious Games Journals

Trying to rebuild a list of journals dealing specifically with game-based learning, serious games, and virtual worlds. Obviously, anything to do with digital media and learning or computers and learning can be relevant to much wider range of journals, but it is also worthwhile knowing about the journals that focus on these specific areas. I’ll perhaps add to this list over time, and know that I’ll have missed some, but here goes a first attempt…
[Edit: added Virtual Education Journal 21st Jan 2013]
[Edit: added The Computer Games Journal 9th Sept 2013]

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Computer Games & Instruction – on sale

Computer Games & Instruction, edited by Tobias & Fletcher is currently on sale over at Information Age. There is in there a chapter that I wrote with Jon Richter, on multi-user games for learning – but this is just one of the chapters in a great book with some fantastic contributions. I mentioned it before when it was released, and previously posted the list of contents.

My favourite chapter has to be Chris Dede’s, where he discusses developing a cohesive research program – advice you don’t often see in print. The editors’ key contribution is a large literature review. Perhaps broader than deeper, it nevertheless is certain to mention some works worthy of greater study. Raplh Chatham’s chapter on game-informed training in the US military has a great deal of detail and is also a very rewarding read. Lots of other great chapters besides, covering the question of fun in serious games, the role of gender, instructional support, and so on. Even if I wasn’t one of the chapter authors, I’d be recommending it…

e-Assessment Scotland 2012

There is a good range of talks and online sessions coming up as part of e-Assessment Scotland 2012. A full day of talks in Dundee on the 31st of August, with online sessions running for a full week before and after that date. More details here:

I’m looking forward to Geoff Crisp’s keynote session, and the Second Life session (yes, there are still folk using Second Life!), but there should be something there for everyone.

Avatar Classroom: Powered by SLOODLE

Things have been very quiet over at the SLOODLE project for a while, but Edmund Edgar and Fire Centaur (Paul Preibisch) have been continuing to work on SLOODLE, contributing to the open-source code base while also developing their own supported solution for end users – Avatar Classroom. There will be a chance to see what they are up to coming soon (SLurl/URL to follow). From Edmund:

Class on Avatar Classroom: Edmund and Fire’s SLOODLE-based classroom, Tuesday March 20th at 8PM Pacific Standard Time

Some people may have heard of the hosted service Edmund Edgar and Fire Centaur have been working on, built on the latest SLOODLE 2.0.

This gives you a pre-fabricated classroom integrated with a fully hosted Moodle website, with all the SLOODLE tools, designed to get you up and running with SLOODLE as quickly and easily as possible.

We have all the usual SLOODLE tools, so you can:

  • Upload their Presentations in Moodle, and have them displayed in Second Life with the Sloodle Presenter
  • Create quizzes in Moodle, and have students complete them in Secondlife using Sloodle quiz chairs, and the all new Sloodle Scoreboard!
  • Create and award points on your scoreboard for quizzes and role-play activities.
  • Submit homework assignments in Second Life, and grade them using the Moodle Gradebook
  • Distribute Virtual items to the class using a web based interface.
  • Record and bridge Student / Teacher chat sessions in Second Life and have these automatically archived in Moodle Chat

We also have a few additional touches, like a shark pool to attack your students if their quiz chairs drop too far.

Fire Centaur will be holding an informational tutorial on Tuesday March 20th at 8PM PST for all those interested.

Hope to see you there!

2nd European Immersive Education Summit – Paris in November

Paris in November… what are you waiting for?

2nd European Immersive Education Summit

26th and 27th November 2012

École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratif EnsAD (Paris, France)

Important Dates

  • Paper submission: 27th July 2012
  • Notification of acceptance: 28th September 2012
  • Final paper submission: 26th October 2012
  • Summit: 26th-27th November 2012


The theme for the 2nd European Immersive Education (iED) Summit is:

Immersive Education: combining creativity, art and pedagogy

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Calls for Papers: VS-Games & Virtual Worlds III

Two recent calls, Virtual Worlds III (Paris in July, papers by 16th Feb.) & IEEE VS Games 2012 (Genoa in October, papers by 18th May)

Virtual Worlds III has Craig Reynolds and Ken Perlin lined up for keynotes (two incredibly influential academics, Reynolds work on ‘boids has had a huge influence on agent based AI in games, and Perlin’s impact in graphics has been immense).

No keynotes announced yet for VS Games, but is supported by the EU FP7 GALA network of excellence, so will be guaranteed to bring along many of Europe’s top games and learning researchers.

Are Virtual Worlds (still) Relevant in Education?

Sarah Smith-Robbins asks whether virtual worlds are (still) relevant in education in the current issue of eLearn.

Sarah identifies many of the reasons why VW have slid in popularity and hype. I think learning technologies (and the people interested in them) are still prone to hype and despondence -  augmented reality and gamification to name two of the more recent hype cycles. As the dust settles, there will still be people using VW in education – though unlikely as widely as the hype was leading us to believe.

Sarah’s article does a very good job of explaining some of the key reasons why the recent Second Life centric wave of hype burst – as virtual worlds re-emerge it will presumably be with less wild enthusiasm and a more pragmatic and realistic basis.

ARVEL SuperNews

A mixture of magazine, journal and blog, with a blend of irreverant, useful, bizarre and thought-provoking pieces, ARVEL SuperNews has arrived. Includes lists of upcoming games and virtual world conferences, lists of some current projects, book and film reviews and contributed articles by Jon Richter and Jeremy Kemp and others. By far the weirdest bit was the Dear Chris page… did Chris Dede really write that? Mind blowing. Worth a read for anyone interested in Game Based Learning and Virtual Worlds – you are sure to find something of value inside.

Get your SuperNews here: