Metaverse Conference Headed for Stanford

Game designer Raph Koster will be speaking at Stanford University’s upcoming conference on virtual communities called Metaverse U, Feb. 16 and 17.
Stanford University, in conjunction with the Stanford Humanities Lab, will host a public forum-style conference focused on virtual communities, in particular, Second Life. The conference, called Metaverse U, will take place Feb. 16 and 17. Metaverse U aims to bring together technology leaders, artists, and academics to exchange ideas about virtual worlds and Second Life. Game students who wish to look toward to the widest possible range of future job opportunities could greatly benefit from conferences of this type. Since the rise of Second Life, in addition to the rise and subsequent competition among social networking sites, forward-thinking game development studios -- particularly those focused on MMO games -- have been strategizing about how they will carve out a greater share of the virtual community pie. Among them is Areae, a relatively new company created by Raph Koster (shown), formerly of Sony Online Entertainment. Koster, whose game credits include Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online is scheduled to speak with a panel of esteemed virtual community thought-leaders, alongside author Howard Rheingold (The Virtual Community) and Cory Ondrejka, former CTO of Linden Lab, the company that created Second Life. As the nature of the conference implies, Metaverse U will incorporate opportunities for virtual attendees to participate as well as those in the flesh, according to a press release. Advance registration rates are available through February 11: corporate $400, academic $200, student $100. Attendees will have access to all conference activities, including networking events and lunch on both days. Tickets sold at the door will cost $500 (cash only), and no student or academic discounts will apply. Video from Metaverse U will be streamed live to the web, free of charge. After the conference, these videos will be archived and made available on a Stanford University web site, to become part of a global conversation on virtual worlds.

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