Augmentology" a concise manual of reality for our digital age."

Mark Hancock,_Augmentology: Interfaccia Tra Due Mondi_

[Sponsored by The Ars Virtua Foundation/CADRE Laboratory for New Media]

_Convergence of the Real and the Virtual_: The First Scientific Conference in World of Warcraft was held over the weekend of May 9th to May 11th 2008. It was an attempt to host a definitive synthetic gathering of scientific practitioners through the use of WoW’s Guild system. The conference involved three separate conference sessions and expeditions [or in-world adventuring scenarios]. Each session consisted of a selected team of “panelists” responding to moderated questions via the guildchat interface. The expeditions were an attempt by the organisers to appropriately adapt a traditional conference model to an online format. Other real-world conventions were replicated completely, including a hierarchical separation of Professionals vs the Audience. Text was the only channel utilized publicly; VOIP was solely employed by the moderators as a monitoring tool and was not infrastructurally incorporated to allow audience participation.

The Second Session of the Conference explored the interplay of relationships in synthetic environments and the geophysical world with specific referencing to World of Warcraft. The chatlog listed below is a _textshot_ segment of the session. This _textshot_ incorporates several text streams that were generated at the event, including emotes, whispers, trade chat, general chat, and guild chat.

5/11 02:31:48.796 [Guild] Southerncal: THIS IS MY WAY OF GETTING THINGS STARTED. Hi, all. I’m Dmitri Williams at USC and I’m chairing this session. Please do not type in /g while this is going.
5/11 02:32:18.171 [2. Trade] Oldirtyblu: wts Heavy Clefthoof Leggings 115g
5/11 02:32:21.390 Ronaan’s pet begins eating a Chunk of Boar Meat.
5/11 02:32:21.890 Gontrus dwddd
5/11 02:32:24.296 Hycintha has joined the guild.
5/11 02:32:24.296 Forthewin tells Tiral NO. Not going to happen.
5/11 02:32:27.687 Gonzorina’s pet begins eating a Stormwind Brie.
5/11 02:32:29.593 Noralore’s Lionel is dismissed.
5/11 02:32:29.593 [Guild] Southerncal: We have 4 excellent panelists here today, and I’m eager to get started
5/11 02:32:29.593 [2. Trade] Asmodius: Enchant Boots – Fortitude 19G my mats….
5/11 02:32:29.593 [Raid Leader] Lightsydor: a few of us have joined “/join sciencechat” for a place to chat outside of guild chat during the conference….
5/11 02:32:30.109 Yasura goes “Shhh”
5/11 02:32:30.125 [2. Trade] Asmodius: Enchant Chest – Major Resilience 39G my mats… Nice PVP Enchant………..
5/11 02:32:33.296 [Guild] Southerncal: So:

<continued here>.

4 Comments to “_Convergence of the Real and the Virtual_: A Partial Transcript.”

  1. Ashendar says:

    5/16 22:09:56.609 [2. Trade] WTB +15 Agility to gloves

  2. mez says:

    lol:) don’t we all?

  3. rubaiyat says:

    So this is a beautiful illustration of the chaos that was the conference, I am particularly keen on the conversation that took place in the trade channel (I can’t help but wonder if it was motivated by all the scienceies online.)

    5/11 03:16:18.578 You dance with Oisini.
    5/11 03:16:21.718 Conference yells: invite to ??
    5/11 03:16:37.890 Conference has joined the guild.
    5/11 03:16:42.125 [Guild] Pleimisti: she’s not kidding. that’s really his name.
    5/11 03:16:47.046 [2. Trade] Curnguz: we’ve been making fuel out of corn. That hurts the economy far worse than gasoline does because of the raised prices of corn, which is a necessary food for the lower class
    5/11 03:16:49.468 Jalena cheers at Conference!
    5/11 03:16:51.671 Forthewin says: I reckon

    approaches poetry, approaches the sort of talking that children do when they don’t pay attention to each other but just talk, is filled with mirth and puns and is purely accidental.

    OTOH this feels like a real converstion (hierarchy aside) in a public place with all the overheard sounds of the bar playing.

    more later, this is quite a bit to digest

  4. Hail Augmentologists!

    I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention that the one of the organizers of this WoW Science conference – William Sims Bainbridge – wrote about “The Rights of Avatars”. In this photo-essay, Bainbridge also discusses his various WoW ALTs and the conference itself…

    There are more readings of his available on the Terasem Journals website so he is definitely worth reading about.

    I will likely be referencing Bainbridge when replying to the post about avatar identity :-)

    I really wish I had the time to grind for this Science conference but alas, I can only vicariously experience this most historic of events.



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