February 23, 2006

Faculty Art Show

The faculty art show just opened up at the Nash Gallery in the Regis Center. The show features current works by department of art faculty. I stopped by and was really impressed with a number of the pieces on exhibit. It's definitely worth a visit if you're on the west bank any time soon. Of particular interest to new media folks are a few video installation pieces by Abinadi Meza (a frequent Emerging Digerati presenter), among others.

Posted by at 11:13 AM

February 17, 2006

Network Frappr Map

Another proof that you only need to wait a little while these days before someone invents what you need. I've created a group for the New Media Research Network on the social mapping site Frappr. You can access the map at:

http://www.frappr.com/newmediaresearchnetworkumn/map

When you add yourself to the map, you can upload a photo and designate your status (faculty, student, staff, other). There's also an RSS feed, so you can see who's on the map. The Frappr team has been making a lot of interesting improvements lately and I'm sure there are more to come.

Link to Network Map

Posted by at 11:31 AM

February 14, 2006

New Network Streams

There are two new features on the Network website.

The first is a del.icio.us tag "inms" that anyone can use to add links that we can all use by subcribing to the feed, or simply looking up the tag on del.icio.us.

The second is a flickr group where you can share photos that may be of interest to the network.

del.icio.us links
flickr photos

Posted by at 9:34 AM

Making a Living in Second Life

There's a story on Wired News about several people who make money through their work in Second Life, a MMORPG. From the article:

Grinnell's shop, Mischief, is in Second Life, a virtual world whose users are responsible for creating all content. Grinnell's digital clothing and "skins" allow users to change the appearance of their avatars -- their online representations -- beyond their wildest Barbie dress-up dreams.

Within a month, Grinnell was making more in Second Life than in her real-world job as a dispatcher. And after three months she realized she could quit her day job altogether.

Now Second Life is her primary source of income, and Grinnell, whose avatar answers to the name Janie Marlowe, claims she earns more than four times her previous salary.

Full Article

Posted by at 9:22 AM

February 8, 2006

Virtual Psychotherapy

On UMNnews there is a story about using virtual reality immersion therapy to help relieve patients' fobias. From the story:

For nearly a year the clinic has been using virtual reality to desensitize patients to experiences that provoke fear and anxiety. The key is to repeat the exposure many times in a session, which can't be done for real when the anxiety involves things like flying and public speaking, the two major foci of current therapies. Other programs treat fear of storms, heights, closed spaces, and being interviewed.

Full Story

Posted by at 9:57 AM

February 7, 2006

Talking about serious games on MPR

This morning on MPR's Midmorning with Kerri Miller, there was a good discussion of using games as teaching tools in universities, industry, and government. Guests on the show included:

  • Kathleen Hansen, professor of journalism and mass communication and director of the Minnesota Journalism Center at the University of Minnesota.
  • Nora Paul, director of the Institute for New Media Studies at the University of Minnesota.
  • Ben Sawyer, president of Digitalmill, Inc. and the co-director of the Serious Games Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars.

There was some excellent discussion from the guests, as well as callers in the second half. It's definitely worth a listen if you're interested in educational, or "serious", applications for digital games.

Listen at the Midmorning page

Posted by at 10:44 AM

Emerging Digiroboti

Last night's Emerging Digerati event was an exciting departure from past events. The action spilled out of the usual room and into the riverside gallery in an eclectic show and tell of all types of robotics. Projects ranged from the artistic to the scientific, along with a fair amount of humor.

A lot of great presentations:

  • Jon Vandervelde, who organizes Mechwars Robot Combat here in the Twin Cities, talked about robots in popular culture and his work with Mechwars.
  • Nikolaos P. Papanikolopoulos, a professor in the Computer Science department here at the U of M, showed off a couple robots he and his graduate students have been working on that could be used in rescue situations.
  • Bruce Shapiro demonstrated some of his art using motion control, including a machine that decorates eggs and a ribbon dancing robot. Bruce's website
  • Jesse Hemminger entertained the audience with his tail of heartbreak and success with his robotic ice-fishing-hole carving machine which he demoed at the Art Shanty Projects on Medicine Lake.
  • Morgan L’Argent has been involved in the Art Car Parade for a few years. He took a spin around the Weisman Art Museum on his motorized couch.

Announcement for the event

Posted by at 10:10 AM