Sunday, 6 April 2008

The Immersionist vrs the Augmentists (or is it Augmentationists?)

Steven alerted us to the debate about immersionists and augmentists when we met at KCL recently. For a good overview of the debate, look here:

Also, the Habitat plug on Lawrie's blog also mentions the fact that people will have a chance to engage with this debate at the Next Generation Environments conference:

The thing that brought this issue into focus for me was the impromptu meeting on Open Habitat island the other day. When I talk to Dave, I feel like an immersionist. When Cubist talks to Kisa, he feels like an augmentist. When I'm in SL with both immersionists and augmentists, both Ian and Cubist feel a little confused and anxious.

The post on Lawrie's blog identifies the Philosophy pilot as an immersionist thing, as it is about distance learning. The A&D pilot is seen as an augmentist thing, as it is about blended learning. However, I feel most like an immersionist when I am building (which is probably why Cubist started building a 3D diagram when he was supposed to be engaging in the debate at the meeting). I feel most like an augmentist when engaging in chat, but I don't feel confident in conversation in-world, as I rely heavily on visual cues and body language when I talk to people in real life. Voice is even worse for me, as the visual cues are even more divorced from the communication than with avie chat.

If we embrace the immersionist ethic when we meet in world, then we have twice as many project team members, with each constructed persona adding something extra but different to the project. If we want in-world meetings to be an augmentation of the real life aspects of the project, then perhaps we should use Wonderland/Darkstar, and be ourselves.

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