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The Virtual World Exploratorium Project: New findings and future directions

Date & Time:
14:00:00 - 15:30:00,
Monday 13 October, 2008


Professor Williams will present the latest findings from the Virtual Worlds Exploratorium (VWE) Project. Sponsored by the US National Science Foundation, the project uses a unique dataset to study human behaviors within a virtual game world.

With cooperation from Sony Online Entertainment, the VWE team hosts and analyses large behavioral logs collected by the game operator within the world EverQuest 2, and combines these with an original survey dataset. The resulting combination of attitudinal and unobtrusive measures allows for novel tests of human behaviors within the world.

In this talk, Williams will describe the project and present findings from the survey data, early results from the in-world metrics tests, and future directions as the team explores a wide array of social science and humanistic areas.

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  • Name: Professor Dmitri Williams
  • Affiliation: Assistant Professor, University of Southern California Annenberg School for
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  • Bio: Dmitri Williams is an Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication, where he co-directs the Annenberg Program on Online Communities (APOC). His research is on the social and economic impacts of new media, with a focus on online games. Professor Williams was the first researcher to use online games for experiments, and was also the first to undertake longitudinal research on video games. In his current work, he is using games to test social science theories on a large scale in game worlds, including tests of economic behavior, group dynamics, trust and communication. He has published in all of the major communication journals, including the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Communication Monographs and others. His work has also been featured on NPR, and in publications including the Economist, Time, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Chicago Sun-Times and others.