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Inhabited TV

Kevin Roebuck
Director, Digital Experience

Last Monday there was a pretty amazing test of something being called Inhabited TV. This thing took place in a very popular virtual world called Second Life. It's so disruptive that it really could have have magical applications for education. Major League Baseball and ESPN streamed live video of the annual Home Run Derby into Second Life by creating a stadium venue with a scaled-down lifelike avatar players hang out and track the hitsthat their real life counter-parts are making. Participants in Second Life have the traditional TV experience of the real thing plus the avatar communication with other people.  The cost $3US.
What a way to learn almost anything from history to to science to how financial markets work or human relations. Just imagine teleporting into and around these worlds set-up like the K-Web and what you could experience. Just one of the things we can look into at the digital hollywood forum.

Slurl.com- Second Life URL


Jim Purbrick talks about inhabited TV from the April last year....

"The idea behind that is that a lot of people watch TV, and a lot of people play computer games, but what’s in the middle? So we were looking at some of the things where on the one end people are watching avatars in a virtual world wander around and then they can decide they can watch it as a story, they can get involved in the story, they can decide they want to be one of the characters and then they can move through the screen again and then decide to be part of the story. So we did a couple of experiments with that. We took over a theatre in Manchester and we showed the show to an audience who was sitting down in the theatre, and then in the same theatre we had people on work stations actually interacting in the virtual world taking part in the story, and potentially people could move from the back room to the front room, and they could move across that boundary from watching to participating in the story. And I think this is a really good example because it’s kind of already happening in Second Life. As soon as the video stuff started happening there’s lots of interesting people making videos in Second Life starring people in Second Life. And you can imagine that once that stuff gets going that people are going to be making stories in Second Life, some people are going to come across it and they’re just going to watch it and it’s going to be interesting, it’s going to be a TV show made in a virtual world which is interesting in and of itself. But then on that Web page they’re streaming that video from, we can have underneath that: ‘If you want to be a part of this, go and get yourself a Second Life account and then become part of the story that you’ve been watching.’ So Inhabited TV is a really good example of something that’s sort of happening in Second Life already."

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