Nov 9: PhD Defense on Collaborative Design in Virtual Worlds

Ates Gursimsek

PhD Title: Multimodal Semiotics and Collaborative Design – a social semiotic approach to the co-production of virtual places and artifacts in Second Life
by Ates Gürsimsek

When: Friday, the 9th of November, 13.00-16.00 CET
Where: Room 42-2.37, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies (CBIT), Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

It is good news for the Virtual Worlds Research Project in Denmark that Ates Gürsimsek successfully defended his PhD dissertation, Multimodal Semiotics and Collaborative Design – a social semiotic approach to the co-production of virtual places and artifacts in Second Life. The dissertation is an in-depth study of collaborative design processes in three case studies: the Metrotopia Research Island, a 3-week student workshop, and the Pop Art Lab case. Theoretically, the case analyses of the dissertation draw on social semiotics and design theory. Ates Gursimsek’s supervisor is Professor Sisse Siggaard Jensen of Roskilde University.

For a copy of the dissertation, please send an email to ates@ruc.dk or sisse@ruc.dk.

Click on the image below for the slides Ates presented during the defense that summarize his PhD thesis.

The PhD Grading Committee consisted of the following members:
Dr. Robin Teigland (Chair), Center for Strategy and Competitiveness, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden
Dr. Jim Ang, School of Engineering and Digital Arts, University of Kent, United Kingdom
Dr. Francesco Lapenta, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Denmark

Here are the slides that the Grading Committee used to structure the PhD defense discussion:

The defense was livestreamed and recorded, and it can be viewed on the Virtual Worlds Research Project blog.

Forthcoming Book – The Immersive Internet: Reflections on the Entangling of the Virtual with Society, Politics, and the Economy

We just received notice from the publisher Palgrave Macmillan that our book, The Immersive Internet: Reflections on the Entangling of the Virtual with Society, Politics, and the Economy (eds. Robin Teigland and Dominic Power), has made it through the final approval process and will now move into production!  If all goes well, it should “hit the bookstands” around March 2013.

The book is one of the results of the Nordic Virtual Worlds Network (NVWN), a two-year international, inter-disciplinary project co-funded by Nordic Innovation that investigated entrepreneurship and innovation through virtual worlds and the 3D internet.

The Immersive Internet is an edited volume (with contributors such as Tom Boellstorff and Edward Castronova) that discusses the promises and challenges of the internet, avatars, and virtual spaces. While each author has his or her own views and experiences related to the immersive internet, a curiosity as to how this emerging phenomenon is going to impact our lives unites the 22 chapters in this volume.

We would like to thank all the contributors to this book, and we look forward to our inworld release party!

/Robin and Dominic



Panel at ESOF 2012: The Virtual Future of Healthcare

When: Saturday, July 14, 8:00 am to 9:30 am GMT /12:00 am to 1:30 am SLT
Where: Euroscience Open Forum 2012, Dublin, Ireland and can be viewed later on NVWN’s livestream channel.

On July 14, please join us for the panel, “The Virtual Future of Healthcare”, organized by Robin Teigland of NVWN.  The panel brings together some of the leading experts in the areas of healthcare and virtual worlds. Below is more information on the panel, the moderator and speakers, and ESOF 2012.

PANEL ABSTRACT

While some may argue that the healthcare industry has been a relatively late adopter of information technology (IT), it might be surprising then to learn that the immersive 3D internet, also known as virtual worlds, has made rapid inroads throughout this industry. A virtual world (VW) is a 3D immersive, computer-­simulated environment where users are represented by avatars through which they interact in real time with other avatars, objects and the environment. Due to the fast growth of broadband internet access and computing power, individuals and organizations throughout the healthcare ecosystem are “stepping into the internet” and using VWs in areas such as research and development, hospital construction, medical training, sales and marketing, and patient care. VWs offer great promise in transforming healthcare, and the objective of this panel therefore is to introduce VWs and showcase a variety of healthcare applications with the purpose of engaging the audience in a discussion of how VWs can be used in a meaningful manner.

In an effort to generate lively debate and to facilitate an understanding of the topic, the panel will be a mixed reality event, ie the panelists will be located physically in the US and Europe and will present through skype and their avatars.  Additionally, we will take the audience on a guided tour of relevant sites in Second Life as well as the virtual worlds of Clinispace and Merck’s custom world built in ProtoSphere by ProtonMedia. The audience will be encouraged to engage in discussing their impressions of what they see.

Here are the panel’s introductory slides.

 

MODERATOR

Dr. Carl Johan Sundberg

Dr. Carl Johan Sundberg is Senior University Lecturer in Bioentrepreneurship and heads the Unit for Bioentrepreneurship at Karolinska Institutet. He is a licensed physician and Associate Professor at the Dpt of Physiology and Pharmacology, where his research group focuses on physical activity and the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle. He works half-­time as investment manager at Karolinska Investment Fund. Apart from educational programmes at UBE, Carl Johan directs several other courses, e.g. Medicine for Journalists, Medicine for Decision Makers and Popular Science Communication for medical and PhD students. He has received the Karolinska Institutet Prize for Teaching Excellence, a Certificate of Commendation for Communication in Life Sciences from EMBO, Ångpanneföreningen’s Prize for Research Communication and the European Commission’s Descartes Communication Prize for Excellence in Science Communication 2005. He is Vice President of Euroscience and was the initiator of Euroscience Open Forum (www.esof2008.org). Sundberg has served as member or chairman of numerous company boards, currently e.g. NsGene A/S, Cellectricon AB and Alfta Rehab AB.

Discipline/field of expertise: Bioentrepreneurship and innovation
Institution/organization/country: Karolinska Institute, Sweden

SPEAKERS

Dr. Parvati Dev Dr. Parvati Dev has a PhD in Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, has conducted research at M.I.T. and the V.A. on computational biology, and at CEMAX, an imaging company, on 3D medical imaging for surgical planning. At Stanford University, she founded and ran an internationally recognized learning technologies lab, SUMMIT, with numerous firsts in multimedia, web and simulation for medical education. Dr. Dev has received numerous awards including the Satava Award for Medicine Meets Virtual Reality, and the Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge grand prize for Artificial Intelligence in a training product. Dr. Dev is a frequent speaker on the future of technology in learning. Her current focus on experiential learning has led her to start a company which has recently launched a browser-­‐based, 3D medical virtual world, CliniSpace (www.clinispace.com).

Discipline/field of expertise: e-­learning in healthcare
Institution/organization/country: President, Innovation in Learning Inc. Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Media-X, Stanford University, Former Director, SUMMIT Lab, Stanford University School of Medicine, USA

Dr. Robin Teigland

Dr. Robin Teigland is Associate Professor at the Center for Strategy and Competitiveness at the Stockholm School of Economics (SSE) and the caretaker of SSE’s island in Second Life. Robin’s research interests include how virtual worlds and social media impact the creation and diffusion of knowledge in social networks and the subsequent impact of these knowledge flows on organizational and regional competitive advantage. Robin has published numerous articles and in 2008 she received the “Researcher of the Year” award at SSE. She has participated in EU projects and as a reviewer for the US National Science Foundation. Robin recently led the Nordic Virtual Worlds Network (NVWN), a two-­year international project investigating innovation and entrepreneurship through VWs and the 3D internet financed by the Nordic Innovation Center. Robin is a globally sought after speaker on VWs and will present in this panel both an overview of VWs and the VW industry as well as a number of VW applications in the healthcare industry. More information is at www.knowledgenetworking.org.

Discipline/field of expertise: Business Administration
Institution/organization/country: Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

Dr. Christopher Welch Dr. Christopher Welch is Science Strategy Lead for Global Analytical Chemistry at Merck Research Laboratories. He also chairs the organization that funds the acquisition and evaluation of first into Merck technologies. He researches the development and application of new separation and analysis technologies to facilitate pharmaceutical discovery and development. Chris has BS degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry and a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-­Champaign. He has more than 175 publications and patents and is co-­founder of Enantiomer. He sits on the editorial boards of Chirality and Chemistry World, the editorial advisory board of Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, and the Permanent International Scientific Committee for the International Symposia on Chirality. He has several awards, e.g., PACS Activated Carbon Hall of Fame. Chris is a councilor for the American Chemical Society Division of Organic Chemistry and an ACS Fellow.

Discipline/field of expertise: Development and application of new separation and analysis technologies to facilitate the discovery and development of pharmaceuticals
Institution/organisation/country: Merck & Co, Inc., USA

Scott Boyd

Scott Boyd has been with Merck for over eight years and is currently a Learning Technology Specialist with the Merck Polytechnic Institute.  Scott has a Master of Science in Instructional Systems Design as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design. He has more than ten years of progressive experience in developing, managing, and leading a wide range of learning and development strategies and projects. Scott’s tasks today include identifying training needs, providing e-learning development, consulting, facilitating, coaching and measuring training effectiveness for multiple projects.

Discipline/field of expertise: Development and management of learning and training
Institution/organisation/country: Merck & Co, Inc., USA

Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF)

The Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) is Europe’s largest, general science meeting and is held in a leading Europe city every two years. ESOF 2012 will be hosted in Dublin from July 11th-15th , 2012. The first meeting was held in Stockholm in 2004, followed by Munich (2006), Barcelona (2008) and Turin (2010). Dublin was awarded the honour of hosting ESOF in 2012, following an open competition. Copenhagen will host then event in 2014.

ESOF is an interdisciplinary, pan-European meeting, held under the auspices of Euroscience, which aims to:
- Showcase the latest advances in science and technology;
- Promote a dialogue on the role of science and technology in society and public policy;
- Stimulate and provoke public interest, excitement and debate about science and technology.

The full ESOF 2012 programme is available online.

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If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Robin at robin.teigland<at>hhs.se.

/Robin

 

June 20 – Designing Executive Education through Virtual Worlds

When: June 20, 16:00 to 17:00 CET / 7:00 to 8:00 am SLT
Where: NVWN’s VCEI in Second Life (The Virtual Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

You can watch the livestream recording of the presentation on NVWN’s livestream channel.

On June 20, NVWN would like to invite you to a presentation by Steve Mahaley of Duke Corporate Education.  Steve will present some design principles and lessons learned from using Second Life for executive education in a variety of countries in Africa and the Middle East for a large multinational corporation. Steve will then take us on a tour of Duke CE’s island in Second Life as well as host a Q&A session.

About Duke CE
Duke Corporate Education (Duke CE) is a global provider of non-degree, custom executive education that was created in July 2000 as a spin-off from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Duke CE has its head office in North Carolina, USA and has five other offices in the USA, the UK, India, and South Africa. Duke CE has been ranked the world’s #1 provider of custom executive education ten years in a row by the Financial Times and five times in a row by Business Week in its biennial survey.

About Steve Mahaley
Steve is the Global Practice Lead, Learning Innovations Team at Duke CE in the UK. Steve works with Duke CE clients and internal teams to weave communications and other electronic technologies in to the design work and ultimate delivery of educational services, modules and programs.  Current areas of interest include game-based learning, virtual worlds, enabling global teams, network-based design, mobile learning technologies, and advances in learning theory and methodologies that reflect the needs and habits of the technology-enabled workforce.

Recent client work has included Boeing, IBM, HSBC, Rio Tinto, the National Urban League, the Fuqua School of Business and PricewaterhouseCoopers.  Recent conference presentations include End to End Experience Design at the Learning 2010 Conference, Level Up – Serious Gaming for the Swedish Games Conference, The Loom – Threading Learning and Networks for Professional Women for the Institute for People Management (South Africa), Using Blended Learning Strategies for MBA Program Delivery for the Graduate Management Admissions Council, Let’s Get Real About the Virtual, for the Current State and Future Directions of Corporate Learning conference, and Second Life: What’s the Business Case for HR in the Virtual World? for the Human Resources Planning Society.

Steve enjoys the continuing adventure that parenting and family life provide, and he occasionally finds time to play the guitar, ride his bike, autocross, volunteer with the Peace Train Charitable Trust, and participate as a member of the NVWN Steering Committee.

———-

No registration is necessary. We hope to see you on Wednesday!

/Robin

New book chapter: Immersive 3-D Virtual Worlds: Avatars at Work

Anders Grönstedt of the Grönstedt Group has recently published the article,  “Immersive 3-D Virtual Worlds: Avatars at Work”, in McGraw-Hill’s 2012 edition of The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Marketing Communications, edited by Professor Clarke Caywood. The chapter provides a description of the “TOP 10 KILLER APPS OF VIRTUAL WORLDS FOR COMMUNICATIONS” and demonstrates how some of the world’s most successful business and government organizations are energizing their frontline organizations with a new generation of 3D environments. If you are interested in the chapter, please contact Anders directly at anders<AT>gronstedtgroup.com.

Anders has also made a video at ASTD’s International Conference & Expo that provides some helpful ideas on storytelling and game development.

/Robin

Virtual Worlds @ EU’s Digital Agenda Assembly

Hello friends,

I would like to draw your attention to a process of major importance for Virtual Worlds that is in process the coming weeks: the preparation of Europe’s Digital Agenda Assembly.

The Background: What is the Digital Agenda for Europe and why does it matter?

Recognizing the profound importance of digital economy and ICT, the European Commission has launched in 2010 the Digital Agenda for Europe. The Digital Agenda one of the seven flagship initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy.
The Digital Agenda for Europe is a roadmap for actions and policies in European and national level to leverage the economic & social potential of ICT for growth, employment, inclusion and innovation. In 2011, the first Digital Agenda Assembly identified and proposed 101 actions in thematic topics (pillars).
In October 2012 the Digital Agenda is going to be evaluated and revised following up on the results of the second Digital Agenda Assembly to be held in June 21-22, 2012.

The Assembly will focus on the following eight (8) key topics with respective workshops:

  1. Anytime, Anywhere, Any Device ? Converged Media Platforms (#Da12converge)
  2. High-speed connections (#Da12bb)
  3. Trust What You Buy, Choose How to Pay ? The Future of e-Commerce in Europe (#Da12commerce)
  4. Social Media: Social Networking for Economic Recovery, Jobs and Growth (#Da12social)
  5. Data (#Da12data)
  6. Clouds for Europe: From Cloud-friendly to Cloud-Active (#Da12cloud)
  7. Security: Secure Digital Future: building on growth, innovation and confidence (#Da12trustsec)
  8. Innovation and entrepreneurs (#Da12innov)

But guess what, the Assembly has already started online; on the Digital Agenda Assembly Platform (http://daa.ec.europa.eu/) and also in the Social Media.

One Topic to Rule Them All: Jobs & Skills!

However, in addition to the above, there is a horizontal key topic in the Digital Agenda that unites all the above and provides the strategic context of the process: Jobs and Skills (#da12jobskills).
The rise in employment through sustainable growth and new jobs creation is one of the biggest challenge for young people in Europe. ICT and technology can and should have a major impact in creating new businesses and jobs in a variety of ways.

Call for ICT Action Heroes! What can Virtual Worlds do for e-Skills & Jobs?!

The demand for effective policies that lead to results (i.e. jobs!) is pressing and constant. Neelie Kroes, the Vice President of the European Commission and Responsible for the Digital Agenda has remarkable views on openness and collaboration – check them out on youtube. In April 2012 she initiated a process for the formation a grand coalition on ICT jobs.
Virtual Worlds is an emerging field that has immense potential for open education, virtual work, start-ups, entrepreneurship and business innovation.
I firmly believe that this is a unique chance to make the case for virtual worlds, influence policies and open up new opportunities to make things happen in scale in Europe!

Please join the Digital Agenda Assembly Platform and specifically the Jobs & Skills Group (http://daa.ec.europa.eu/group/12/content) and let’s start shaping the Digital Agenda’s action plan by providing:

  • Evidence of successful practices with ICT & Jobs (e.g. upskilling, placement)
  • Ideas to map and address the fluid ICT Skills Need & Supply Mismatch
  • Data about eventual Challenges and Roadblocks
  • Evidence about the role of certification skills, formal and informal
  • Action suggestions for EC to scale good practices

Looking forward to meeting you there and for more details please do contact me!

Stylianos

Disclaimer: Yours truly is honored be facilitating the discovery, involvement of digital champions and the engagement of the discussion in the Jobs & Skills topic of the Digital Agenda Assembly.

PhD Thesis: Designing Collaboration Experiences for 3D Virtual Worlds

On June 5, Andreas Schmeil will defend his PhD thesis titled Designing Collaboration Experiences for 3D Virtual Worlds, at the University of Lugano (USI) in Switzerland.

Andreas is a Research Associate at the University of Lugano (USI). Past roles include positions at the Palo Alto Research Center (formerly Xerox PARC), Simon Fraser University, the HIT Lab NZ, Fraunhofer FIT and Fraunhofer IAO. His current research focuses on avatar-based collaboration and learning practices in 3D virtual worlds, on experience design and design-based research, and on technologies for health behavior support and change.

Andreas’ PhD thesis supervisor is Dr. Martin Eppler, a full professor of media and communication management at the University of St. Gallen (HSG), where he is also the managing director of the institute for media and communication management.

The PhD thesis grading committee consists of Bart Van den Hooff, Professor of Organizational Communication and Information Systems at KINresearch at VU University in Amsterdam, and Robin Teigland, Associate Professor of Strategy at SSE – the Stockholm School of Economics.

PhD Thesis Abstract

Working together benefits from colleagues, team members, or peers being in the same place. With collaborating teams being more and more dispersed in an increasingly networked world, people and organizations turn to the Internet as a medium to work and learn together. Collaborative virtual environments (CVE) in general attempt to provide settings in which the users or participants feel co-present, the sensation of ‘being there together’. Different types of CVE make for different intensities of co-presence. One type of CVE facilitating particularly immersive real-time activities is that of virtual worlds.

Virtual worlds are three-dimensional CVE accessed with standard computers. People meet online in shared spaces, all represented through animated virtual characters, so- called avatars. Being in control of a highly customizable virtual embodiment, in a 3D environment configurable with virtually no limits, and the possibility of creating responsive and interactive tools, are some of the key distinct features of the medium. However, while virtual worlds have been around for years, it is still unclear what value virtual worlds can add to the existing modes of communication and collaboration, and which virtual world features should be made use of – and how – in order to maximize the benefit of using the medium for collaborative work and learning. This doctoral thesis addresses these issues by investigating the design of collaborative work and learning activities and tailored environments for virtual worlds.

The main goal of this dissertation is to improve collaboration practices in 3D virtual worlds, following the premise that making explicit use of the medium’s distinct features allows for innovative, valuable new forms of working and learning together. The work pursues a pattern-based approach in order to investigate and describe existing practices and to develop a structured framework for the goal-oriented design of novel collaboration patterns. It further empirically investigates the value of the visual character of the medium as well as different approaches for designing collaboration tasks and environments in it. With these two strands, the research addresses both the process and the product of the design of virtual world collaboration experiences. The thesis presents two controlled experiments and derived design guidelines, the conceptual development of a framework following the principles of design science research, and an exploration study.

As one main outcome of the thesis, the structured framework for the description and development of virtual world collaboration patterns is intended to help improve the process of designing for collaboration experiences and facilitate sharing and organizing of collaboration patterns. As the other main outcome of the thesis, the gathered empirical data indicate that making active use of the distinct features of virtual worlds can have a positive impact on collaboration in various ways.

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If you are interested in a copy of Andreas’ thesis, please contact him directly at andreas.schmeil<at>usi.ch.

/Robin

 

Doctoral Defense: Ways of Virtual World-making: Actors and Avatars

When: June 1, 13:00 to 17:00 CET / 5:00 to 8:00 am SLT
Where: Biografen, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

You can watch the livestream recording of the defense on the university’s website on the blog: worlds.ruc.dk.

The doctoral disputats, “Sisse Siggaard Jensen: Ways of Virtual World-making – Actors and Avatars” has been accepted for a public defense for the doctoral degree Dr. Phil. at Roskilde University. Denmark.

Summary: The dissertation Ways of Virtual World-making: Actors and Avatars is about some of the many choices that lead human actors to engage with large online roleplaying games and social virtual worlds. The study addresses questions about how the choices made make sense to human actors in their daily life and communication. In several case studies, we follow the choice and co-design of virtual world and avatar, the social relationships formed, the expressions of self and the navigation through physical and virtual worlds. The cases have been followed over time and with the methods of virtual ethnography and ‘in situ’ iterative video interviews. Thus, the choice of methods reflects the methodological approach of “following the human and nonhuman actors” in their daily life online as well as offline.

The dissertation is published by Roskilde Universitetsforlag (Roskilde University Press), and you can buy it here. Read the first review on Marianne Riis’ blog.

The opponents are the following:

Good luck and congratulations to Sisse!

/Robin

May 23 – Henrik Scheel presents The Startup Experience

 

When: May 23, 16:00 to 17:00 CET / 7:00 to 8:00 am SLT
Where: NVWN’s VCEI in Second Life (The Virtual Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

You can watch the livestream recording of the presentation on NVWN’s livestream channel.

On May 23, NVWN would like to invite you to a presentation by Danish Entrepreneur, Henrik Scheel, on The Startup Experience and his new 3D version of the game. Henrik will also discuss his experiences and thoughts on how to teach entrepreneurship in a virtual environment.

Henrik’s slides are here.

About The Startup Experience

The Startup Experience is an educational workshop for future entrepreneurs and innovators and is designed to train the participants in the art of high growth entrepreneurship and user-driven innovation. During the workshop, the participants work to improve their creative capacity and find inspiration for future ventures. The Startup Experience simulates the entrepreneur’s journey all the way from problem identification to business pitch. The participants compete in temporary startup teams to; identify and select a specific user need -> do research to find and screen relevant technologies -> generate ideas and conceptualize a brilliant solution -> find a sustainable business model -> use visual communication and prototyping to pitch the idea to a professional jury.

The Startup Experience is inspired by theoretical frameworks from leading universities in the field of entrepreneurship. The methodology has been thoroughly tested with participants from many different cultures (+6 countries) in countries such as Denmark, Ireland, Malaysia, India, and Jordan.

Recently Henrik created a virtual version of The Startup Experience. The Virtual Startup Experience is the world’s first 3D Entrepreneurship Game. Here is a Demo of the Virtual Startup Experience.  You can also check out for free a BETA version of the game.

About Henrik Scheel

Henrik is a passionate Danish entrepreneur currently living in San Francisco where he enjoys working with leading innovators from the global tech community. During his engineering studies in Denmark he founded three companies and was a strategy consultant for several international corporations. Henrik has a strong interest in cleantech and has lead innovation projects for both Vestas and Siemens Wind Power.

Henrik is now founder and CEO of The Startup Experience, a global startup focused on reinventing entrepreneurship education, both virtually and through physical workshop. Besides scaling his own company and coaching other newborn startups he runs innovation workshops for business professionals and teaches entrepreneurship to students around the world. Henrik is a charismatic speaker with a good sense of humor and a talent for understanding his audience.

Fields of interest: Entrepreneurship education, IDEA Management, Customer Development, Open Innovation, and educational gaming.

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No registration is necessary. We hope to see you on Wednesday!

/Robin

 

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research: Managerial and Commercial Applications of Virtual Worlds

CFP – Journal of Virtual Worlds Research: Managerial and Commercial Applications of Virtual Worlds

Motivation and Scope
The intriguing potential of virtual worlds has attracted a significant amount of scholarly work in the business research domain. As much as we recognize the invaluable contribution made by scholars in this area, we also see the need for more research that can offer visionary perspectives to shape the future design and use of virtual worlds. Through the business lens, virtual worlds are often perceived to be promising yet risky and exciting yet formidable for the use and management of individual and collaborative work. Scholars and practitioners are confronted with an apparent contradiction: on the one hand, the business case for virtual worlds appears to offer great promise; while on the other hand, the observed returns and demonstrable successes are often absent or negligible.

This special issue on “managerial and commercial applications” of virtual worlds aims to highlight research that makes a significant and novel contribution in theory and practice about virtual worlds in the business domain. We are seeking papers that showcase new directions for research by examining technical, behavioral, economic, and/or social perspectives of virtual worlds in organizational and business environments. In particular, we are interested in papers that enable us to better understand managerial and organizational issues associated with virtual worlds and how these environments should be designed, used, and managed for commercial and managerial purposes to enhance business value. We especially welcome innovative and creative research that enables our audience to see the new possibilities offered by the unique affordances of virtual environments.

Authors are invited to submit original scholarly manuscripts that will make significant contributions to the advancement of our understanding of managerial and commercial applications as it applies to virtual worlds. We encourage diverse methodological approaches and welcome both qualitative and quantitative research studies, as well as theoretical, conceptual, and empirical studies.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
• Novel and innovative design and development of managerial and commercial applications of virtual worlds
• The use, management, and evaluation of virtual worlds in organizational settings
• Individual and group behaviors in virtual worlds that are used for business purposes
• Process and governance of individual and collaborative group behaviors and mechanisms in virtual worlds
• The role of psychological and social attitudes and characteristics on behaviors, processes and outcomes in virtual worlds
• Ethics, privacy, security, and trust issues related to virtual worlds in the business domain
• Intra- and inter-organizational communication and collaboration and cultural issues in virtual worlds
• Business and economic models of virtual worlds
• Power and political issues related to individual, group, organizational, and societal behaviors in virtual worlds
• Commercial applications and commercialization of virtual worlds technologies and environments

Submission Instructions
Authors are invited to submit original scholarly papers of up to 6000 words including footnotes, references, and appendices. Interested authors should submit a two-page extended abstract by the deadline indicated below. All submissions (abstracts and papers) should be made via the JVWR publishing system (see www.jvwreserach.org > About JVWR > For Authors). All submissions will be blind reviewed. Accepted papers will be published online in the Volume 5, Number 3 (2012) of the Journal.

Timeline
Authors submit abstract: May 15, 2012
Editors return comments on abstracts: May 30, 2012
Authors submit full paper: July 1, 2012
Editors return review report and initial decision: September 1, 2012
Authors submit revised paper: October 1, 2012
Editors return final comments and decision: November 1, 2012
Authors submit final version: November 30, 2012
Publication: December 31, 2012

Guest Editors
Shu Schiller, Wright State University, shu.schiller<at>wright.edu
Brian Mennecke, Iowa State University, mennecke<at>iastate.edu
Fiona Fui-Hoon Nah, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, fnahunlnotes<at>unl.edu

The Journal of Virtual Worlds Research is an online, open access academic journal that engages a wide spectrum of scholarship and welcomes contributions from the many disciplines and approaches that intersect with virtual worlds research. Virtual worlds ignite a continuously evolving area of study that spans multiple disciplines and the JVWR editorial team looks forward to engaging a wide range of creative and scholarly research.