Rec Con is Coming to Rec Room September 24th to 26th, 2021!

Rec Con, the virtual fan convention held in Rec Room, is back! According to the official announcement:

Rec Con 2021 is coming SOON™! We’re back and can’t wait to have you join us at Rec Con on September 24th, 25th and 26th, 2021. We’ve done a bunch of work to make sure Rec Con is even bigger and better this year!

Grab a friend, party up, and let’s get together to explore the Rec Room community and beyond!

Rec Con is a free community event where players from all around the world meet up for various activities, Q&As, exhibit halls, panels, special events, and more!

We’re planning special events, panels, and afterparties featuring Rec Room developers, game devs and industry speakers, YouTubers, and musical guests. This year we have exciting new technology that allows special events to be broadcasted live to hundreds of rooms – events will no longer have to be limited to 40 people!

This event is free and you don’t need to register; just look for the special ^RecCon room in Rec Room. The programming schedule and special events will be announced later in September. Some events will also be livestreamed on their YouTube channel.

See you there!

UPDATED! Today at the UniVirtual Experience Conference in AltspaceVR: A Panel Discussion on the Current State of Social VR

The UniVirtual Experience virtual conference, put on by the Educators in VR group and the Virtual World Society, has been running all through the month of May, 2021.

This afternoon at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time/4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, in AltspaceVR, I will moderate a candid panel discussion on the current state of social VR, where members of the Discord server associated with the RyanSchultz.com blog will discuss, debate, and perhaps even argue about the current and future state of social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse, and the many companies building it!

HOST: Ryan Schultz

PANELISTS:
– Carlos Austin
– Anabel Nowak
– Rainwolf
– Christina “XaosPrincess” Kinne
– Jason Moore
– Chris Bradley
– Erik Mondrian

All are welcome! Hope to see you there. Here’s the event listing from the AltspaceVR Events Calendar.

UPDATE June 23rd, 2021: The hour-long video of this panel discussion has been posted to YouTube by its creator, Carlos Austin (one of the panelists). Enjoy!

Dr. Marie Vans: 14 Reasons Why Virtual Worlds Are Still Better than Social VR Worlds for Educational Purposes

PLEASE NOTE: My blog is still on indefinite hiatus; I have made a single exception for this blogpost. After this, I will be going back on my self-imposed break from blogging.


Dr, Marie Vans (known as Amvans Lapis in Second Life) is a Senior Research Scientist at HP Labs in Colorado, who gave the following provocatively-titled presentation on March 19th, 2021 at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) 2021 Conference, held in SL:

Title Slide from Dr. Vans’ VWBPE Presentaion

14 Reasons Why Virtual Worlds are still better than Social VR Worlds

A year ago, VCARA started the VR Exploder’s Club wherein educators meet up once a month to determine whether and/or which Social VR Worlds we should establish a presence thereon after exploring different platforms together. Whether we used VR headsets or desktop versions of these platforms, we looked at criteria such as learning curve, real-time communication, interaction capabilities, and more. I will describe specific issues that have been resolved in VWs that still need attention in VR.

Drawing upon a number of representative social VR platforms chosen from my November 2019 spreadsheet (which I need to update!), she gave a great presentation on why she thinks that social VR platforms need to pull up their socks when it comes to supporting education, and why these newer platforms should not be so quick to dismiss older virtual world platforms such as Second Life!

Because the following YouTube video of Dr. Marie Vans’ presentation has a absolutely criminally low 56 views thus far, I have decided to write up a blogpost about it! And here it is! (I am going back on hiatus again after this.)

Here is the video of Dr. Vans’ hour-long VWBPE presentation, followed by a question and answer session with the audience. It’s well worth watching the entire thing!

iLRN Is Hosting the 19th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2020) in VirBELA, November 9th to 13th, 2020

The IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) is the premier conference for Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR). ISMAR explores the advances in commercial and research activities related to AR and MR and Virtual Reality (VR) by continuing the expansion of its scope over the past several years. The symposium is organized and supported by the IEEE Computer Society, IEEE VGTC and ACM SIGGRAPH.

Here are the virtual conference details from an email I received:


The Immersive Learning Research Network (iLRN) is proud to be hosting the 19th IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR 2020) on our iLRN Virtual Campus, powered by VirBELA, and to be supporting the conference as a Gold Sponsor. ISMAR is the premier technical and scientific research conference on AR and MR technologies. There is still time to register for this exciting conference!

Come along to learn from and interact with researchers from all over the world, who will be sharing the latest advances in the field. In addition, through an immersive experience, you will have the opportunity to enjoy Brazilian cultural attractions in a unique and unforgettable way!

Note: The iLRN Virtual Campus is accessible either (a) in desktop mode on a PC or Mac; or (b) using a tethered PC VR headset (HTC Vive, Windows Mixed Reality, Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest with Link Cable). Sessions will also be streamed on YouTube Live.

Here’s a link to the official conference website with all the details.

The cost to attend this virtual conference is only US$50 for IEEE members, and US$60 for non-members. Here is registration information for the conference.