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Virtual World Television and Interactive Television

This is the end result of the work I have been doing with Pooky Amsterdam. This paper is the write-up of the presentation Avatars, Audiences and Interactive Television. I do not think there is enough in this paper to make pursuing publication worthwhile, but I do hope to use the categorizations of the three types of interactive television more, perhaps in an essay exploring the … Continue reading Virtual World Television and Interactive Television

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The Pop Culture Lens Podcast Goes Live!

Christopher Olson (of the blog Seems Obvious to Me) and I present a new podcast, The Pop Culture Lens, where we discuss the media of the past through the lens of today to understand how relevant it is to our modern lives. You can follow the podcast on Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook, or get the latest episode directly from Podbean. Please send us any feedback … Continue reading The Pop Culture Lens Podcast Goes Live!

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Avatars, Audiences and Interactive Television

This presentation was given at the 100th National Communication Association Conference in Chicago on November 21, 2014. This presentation reflects the work I have done with Pooky Amsterdam to understand the nature and potential of virtual world television as reported in the Journal of Virtual World Research. This presentation was awarded one of the Top Paper Awards for the Communication of the Future Division.

The current state of affairs brings what is “television” into question. Amongst the various layers of activity and discourse that surround it, “television” can, and perhaps should, be deconstructed into at least two primary components: the content it relays, “television-as-content,” versus the technical interface it is, “television-as-technology”. There may soon come a time when the idea of watching television does not involve the use of a television set. Instead, television content will be increasingly divorced from the medium for which it was developed: over-the-air broadcasting of audiovisual content. At that time, television-as-content will become another aspect of the Internet.

These challenges to what is “television” are also challenges to the traditional models of production, distribution, exhibition and consumption that have for so long defined it. These challenges are also implicated in the move toward higher interactivity. The traditional models are predicated on transmission and passivity, whereas the interactive models require dialogue and activity. Concepts and technologies like video on demand, time-shifting, and social television are all part of these challenges. This paper explores yet another, virtual world television or VWTV. With VWTV, we are seeing another possible location for the evolution of television.

Continue reading “Avatars, Audiences and Interactive Television”

Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV Part 2

Pooky Amsterdam’s interview with a VWTV pioneer concludes with this second part.  And it raises the question: how likely is the virtual and the real to converge to produce television?  How likely are regular television consumers going to be persuaded to become television producers? Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV Part 2. Continue reading Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV Part 2

Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV

Pooky Amsterdam reports on a conversation she had with someone who might just be one of the pioneers of virtual world television.  Steve Benford was part of a research project in the United Kingdom who worked on merging virtual reality, virtual worlds, and television at the turn of the century.  Their work on “inhabited TV” would later be mirrored by the work of machinimists and … Continue reading Steve Benford and Inhabited TV: The beginnings of VWTV

VWTV Beyond Second Life: InfinityXShark and Star Trek

Although the focus of our virtual world television project is on the social world Second Life, that doesn’t mean it is the only virtual world being used by regular people to create interesting television.  As the first of a two-parter, I discuss the work of InfinityXShark and his production of a Star Trek series using the Star Trek Online mmorpg. via VWTV Beyond Second Life: InfinityXShark and Star Trek. Continue reading VWTV Beyond Second Life: InfinityXShark and Star Trek