The limits of virtual worlds in academic research

After the MUVE session at the JISC CETIS conference I was interested to see this article in the MIT Technology Review which outlines some of the problems faced by academics when trying to exploit the potential of virtual worlds and games in their research. In the article Edward Castronova outlines some of the problems his team faced when they tried to build a MMU game to test out economic theory. Although there is undeniably potential in these technologies for education and research, there a huge challenges to be faced by academics who are trying to build systems which are comparable to commercially produced ones.

As I reported in an earlier posting, Mark Bell (who worked on the Arden project referred to in the TR article) presented at the MUVE session. If you are interested in finding out in more depth about the issues the Arden project faced, then it’s worth listening to the podcast of his presentation as he gave a very full and frank account of his experiences of trying to create engaging MMUs with part time research students and a limited budget.

Multi User Virtual Environments and Games @ JISC CETIS Conference 2008

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