"Synthetic Worlds and Public Policy"

Ludium II at Indiana University will focus on what ‘synthetic worlds and public policy’ this year.Great!

I hope that a good and healthy array of people will be present. I, for example, would like to see some public policy enforcers present – see what they have to say on the subject. These are difficult questions – and the more diversity discussing them – the more I think they can come up with an adequate proposal. I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to bring ‘actual’ laws into gaming worlds – and yet I do believe avatars have rights too. But should it be controlled by consumer laws?
I think it is in the best interests of the synthetic world makers to have adequate laws and procedures – but there are limits to the responsibilities that can be enforced on them. I also think that in such debates you cannot dismiss the dilemma of defining what is a gaming world and what is a virtual (synthetic) world.Either way, it looks like Castronova and his bunch have created a great Ludium in the best possible form this year again!

Ludium II will bring together experts on virtual worlds from academia, industry, and government to play a live-action political game leading to an extremely serious, timely, and important contribution: a consensus Platform of 10 Statements answering the question “What policies should real world governments have with regards to synthetic worlds?” The hope is that this Platform will provide answers when legislatures and administrators wonder what to do in response to the critical public issues that will be raised by these unique social technologies.

Good luck!!!

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Virtual World Travel Agency

This is great!!! A virtual guide service, Synthravels!! I love the idea! Clickable Culture reports about this new business that has started to offer guided tours for “those who wish to tour virtual worlds even without the necessary experience” – I love it! I haven’t tried it out yet, but I’ve registered with my preferred time and can’t wait to have a look at all the worlds I just don’t have the capasity and time to experience first hand!

“Synthtravels was conceived by Mario Gerosa and by Matteo Esposito.”

Historical Simulations and AI

So…Peter S. Jenkins is alive and well…it seems…and challenging my thoughts again. Now…I’ve only skimmed through this, and I honestly can’t decide if he’s gone mad or if he’s one of the genius future thinkers of our time!

I’m gonna have to have another go at it…but let me present you with: “Historical Simulations – Motivational, Ethical and Legal Issues”.

After skimming through it – I feel like I’m still not sure what he means with historical simulations and AIs! I mean…he starts off pretty boldly:

“The notion that the perceived world is an illusion or a simulation has arisen for centuries in the works of philosophers, mathematicians, and social scientists. A recent variant on this theme, posited by Nick Bostrom of the University of Oxford, is that it is possible that we are forms of artificial intelligence in an ancestor, (i.e. historical) simulation created by a future society.”

And then he gets me back to nodding – because he mentions McLuhan’s ‘rearview mirror effect’ and some of Castronova’s ideas of using ‘synthetic worlds’ but I suppose I’m just nodding from recognition – because my hair just rises up when he starts using words like apocalypse!

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Synthetic World News


Castronova’s posse at the Indiana University have started a blog called Synthetic World News! I don’t know why this has passed by me! Anyways…these are the folks behind Ludium (I’m still dumbfounded by their innovative creativity on research) so most likely interesting things will be revealed here!
First up is the Kuurian Expedition and they’re having a meeting at the Hall of Explorers, Ironforge, Silver Hand at 10 pm EST August 2, 2006. From what I gather it is a bunch of experienced researchers/players showing new people what synthetic worlds are all about and how we can learn and build from them. But I’m sure this sounds interesting to all you other WoW freaks as well!
I’m staying away from it all and trying to wrap things up! Although I’m suffering from some annoying syndrom that makes me fall asleep each time I open my thesis!! I will prevail though!! I shall conquer this beast of mumbo jumbo sadistic slime!!