February 4, 2004: INTERFACES: A Visual Culture Faculty Colloquium
Featuring talks by Visual Culture faculty
"Enabling Social Dimensions of Learning Through Persistent and Extensible Online Virtual Environments"
by Julian Lombardi, Division of Information Technology
Julian will discuss current his current efforts to implement a persistent, unified, and extensible framework for collaborative online interaction and knowledge management in the form of a massively multi-user collaborative virtual learning environment. He will discuss how new and emerging post-browser technologies can be recombined to establish a crucial social foundation for the distributed development of rich educational resources and for the development of academic communities of practice.
"Pregnant Sims: Avatars and the visual reproduction of motherhood on the web"
by Lisa Nakamura, Communication Arts
Parenting websites exemplify the ways that women use the Internet to graphically embody themselves in specific reproductive states, that is, as pregnant women, nursing women, and mothers. This talk will examine images of pregnant avatars and their creation and deployment in sites such as geoparent.com and ivillage.com and analyze the implications of this form of digital (re)production for cyber and other feminisms.
"Designing Supercharged: Opportunities and challenges using video game interfaces in instructional design"
by Kurt Squire, Curriculum and Instruction
This talk will present the background and rationale behind Supercharged, a 3D simulation game designed for use in advanced physics classes and explore the consequences of using game vocabulary, interface elements, and semiotic systems in an academic simulation game. This presentation relies on a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to show how students' experiences with games mediated their experience with Supercharged and set expectations for their academic work. This study suggests that not only should educators be aware of and capitalize on the affordances of games, but also that educational game design plays an important role in illuminating design issues in games studies more generally.