Thursday 1900 EST

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Group Overview

Places & Times


  • Bridget Smith (Frappe Lapointe) []
  • Brien Walton (Blaise Syaka)
  • Esmond Kane (Pere Utu)
  • William James (USA Brody)
  • Yvette Wohn (Yvette Kumsung)

Assignment: Interview a SL personality

Due Monday (Oct 9) at 10:55 EST (Assignment in Moodle)

Anyone know if this is a group Assignment?

Yes. Sign up for an Interviewee here

Project Discussion

Thursday 7pm Chatlog 20061019

Thursday 7pm Chatlog 20061026

Thursday 7pm Chatlog 20061102

Thursday 7pm Chatlog 20061109

Thursday 7pm Chatlog 20061116

Thursday 7pm Chatlog 20061130

Friday 7pm Chatlog 20061201

Also see Topics and Thesis discussion here

Project Thesis

Thesis candidates

  • The integration of Voice in SL can result in varying degrees of discrimination against the residents, and this project will address issues regarding the impact of Voice on the social network.
  • Ceding development to 3rd party voice tools and developers, cedes control over the content and introduces the risk of censorship and limits on expression. Linden must develop voice in-house with the same participatory, optional limitations used in the existing modes of expression.
  • Linden must NOT impose their Western morality on the implementation of Voice in SL. Voice is a multi-cultural, international and liberating technology which must be implemented within the cultural and moral confines of the home country. This development is best left to 3rd parties in a similar manner to the existing cultural grids.
  • Voice is a boundary shattering introduction to Second Life. Anyone who can speak and use a joystick has as much a right to participate in SL as the texting, literate, educated minority. Linden must not only encourage the rapid, accelerated development of Voice but also the development of translation engines in SL to embrace the developing world and encourage communication across borders and cultures.

Project Podcasts

Our podcasts are up here

Project Topics

Topics candidates

Heed Typers When Voice Comes

Hypothesis: Voice is coming to SL and will bring new capabilities

Problem: Discrimination of typers in type-voice coexsiting environment

1.Typers are slower, making it more difficult to fit into conversations
2.Voice users may feel annoyed by chat windows, or get used to minimizing the window
3.Clash of typing sounds with voice

Why should we think of protecting the rights of typers?

1. May not be able to speak (mute, soar throat)
2. Situation where you cannot use voice (office)
3. Personal reasons (Don't like sound of voice/doesn't suit identity of avatar/want to keep level of privacy/stutter,lisp, accent)
4. Multitasking (chat while listening to music, etc.)
5. Efficiency in certain situations(Group chats, lectures)

Questions to Ask Ourselves

1. Who should be given the right to decide whether the zone is voice, text, or voice-text?
2. How can we create awareness?
3. Are we calling for technical attention from Linden or social attention from residents?

Solution/Action: "Heed Typers" Campaign?

Presentation Method Ideas:

1. Create rooms with streaming audio boxes.
2. Create machinima

Project Responsibilities

Real Name SL Name Introduction For Against Conclusion Machinima
Esmond Kane Pere Utu Yes
Bridget Smith Frappe Lapointe Yes
William James USA Brody Yes
Brian Blaise Sydake Yes
Yvette Wohn Yvette Kumsung Yes

Project Deliverables (Tentative)

  • Saturday Dec 2 7pm: Text
  • Sunday Dec 3 7pm: Audio
  • Thursday Dec 8 7pm: Project Draft
  • Tuesday Dec 12 7pm: Project Presentation

Project Script/Detail

Please edit your own section only. It'll get reaaal messy if we all edit the main page. Remember, this is about Voice discrimination and SL!



Freedom of Speech, Swearing, Accents, Pitch, Cultural (Ebonics etc), Disabilities (Stutter, Lisp), SL vs RL (Gender, Voice Fonts), Foreign Languages, Crosstalk ,Latency, Text = Oration style

we are arguing for the choice of the avatar to be able to toggle voice integration

  • Scence setting
  • Mention of broad possibilities for discussion
  • narrow focus
  • thesis
Intro: Draft

New technology and the new media marketplace of the 21st century, have greatly changed the nature of information exchange and the very framework for Human communication. Cave paintings, stone and paper etchings, wax and clay records are now mere nano-scale metal etchings, polarised atoms, insubstantial radio waves, beams of light, electrons and Quantum signatures. We stand on the precipice of a convergence of all Human communication into a single datastream, the development of an Electronic Human network. (Singularity?) (Audio: 0:35 minutes)

The Older communication frameworks, favoured systems of proxies, designated champions and sporadic polls. The greater populace was excluded from meaningful participation in issues of commonality, the grand Economic, Political, Scientific, Religious debates, the Historical and Educational scholarly imperatives. It simply was not technically or administratively possible to include a large population in expansive dialogue when using the older frameworks. Technology has lowered the barrier to communicate and participate, now the greater populace, the everyday actors, participate in the recording of thought, the dialogue, discussion, the narration, negotiation, the persuasion, compromise and consensus, Human communication in all its facets is no longer the preserve or the arena of an elite minority. (Audio: 1:20 minutes)

Massively Multiplayer Online Realities are one tool in the new communication frameworks. MMO's are technology showcases which emulate the physical presence and proximity of the participants by simulating each individual and a shared reality. These communities are vast forums for social networking and experimentation in culture and perception. Politics, Religion, Culture, Society, all the greater issues are emulated and the core principals modified, new concepts tested as the participants "play" with reality. (Audio: 2 Minutes)

In one such MMO, Second Life, despite the effort spent on implementing the “virtual reality”, communication is still based on the older communication frameworks. The visual aspects of the simulation have been prioritized in the development and dialogue relegated to a linear textual chat system. SL avatars are still etching thought onto a virtual clay or wax tablet. (Audio: 2:20 minutes)

For: why voice is not discriminatory or it doesnt matter
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Virtual worlds, such as Second Life, are an exciting new horizon for you and your avatar to meet new people, listen to new music, take an online class, and many other things that you may not have imagined. Everything I am about to say or type from this point on, is why having voice capabilities can add and bring a new element to Second Life. Having Voice integrated into to second life will allow a user that can not type to take part in this really cool world. With that said, I am not saying we should only have voice available; you should be able to choose. Maybe you do not like you voice; if you could alter it slightly would you not like to be able to speak to someone you meet? That is of course if you are on the up & up and not a deviant of society.

There are many groups in second life using 3rd party products to speak to each, but I think it would be much better to have something that is completely integrated, so that you do not have to have that 3rd party product downloaded. If this does happen, it should be up to the land owner as to where the voice modules are located and the Linden’s will need to set some of the rules in place if they are not going to push the cost back on the end user (avatar). After all we must be careful as not to hurt anyone in the process of allows voice integration. Of course this is another whole topic we could write or speak about for hours.

My thought process around having voice is very simple, it will allow those that do not like typing to use voice as a way to get their message out but also still have the ability to write the words they need to say. If for example I was dyslexic I would want to be able to speak to a new friend, and it would be the new friend’s choice as to whether they wanted to speak to with me. After all I do not want to force my words on anyone. You would also be to set up voice chat group but also keep your typing chat groups separate. That of course is if voice actually works that way.

If I did not have use of my hand, again I would have a hard time using this great social networking world to meet new people and be involved in new, exciting events. I would to have voice. I have a family member that has CP; he does not have use of his right hand and has a hard time with video games. I had him try a third party voice product in Second Life, showing him where to go to se how he liked it. Were talking through the virtual world and he loved it. Of course he would like to see this in his MMOG’s like EVE, which is happening now thanks to the same third party company.

It is really important for the Linden’s to think about adding voice, having it working for all groups, all computer types but also set up some type of guideline for use. It would be great to have a young adult’s area, an adult area, an education area and anything else that can be thought of so that avatars can try using it. It is current possible for end user to try voice with a third part application, but I think they should try to integrate now, so enough people get to use it and than they will know if it work or not.

On the side of caution, and again I am for voice, the choice has to be given to the end user. In some cases it may not be appropriate for voice to be available, or it may get confusing if some are using chat and others are using voice. I think we can coexist in this environment together and make Second Life and even better place to be with more tools at our avatars finger tips. So, this is a plea, a plea for voice. A plea to add voice to second life without hurting anyone else or taking away from those that wants to type.

Against: why text is less discriminatory
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Summary and Conclusion
  • 'give us the choice'
  • "it is open for all to decide what they want ot choose"
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