Tecnologie e Società


Synthetic Worlds Initiative
Edward Castronova


I'm writing to announce the formation of a Synthetic Worlds Initiative within the Department of Telecommunications at Indiana University.

The SWI has three missions:

1. Research: Analysis of synthetic worlds, report results through papers, interview, speaking engagements, and a blog.
2. Construction: Building synthetic worlds for the purpose of research and education. More on this in September.
3. Community: Ludium conferences, academic game groups, an in-game guild.

Three elements of the Initiative may be of special interest for the recipients of this email.

1. We will host an in-game guild, especially geared toward professionals who want a quick, friendly introduction to the technology. To join, make an Alliance character on the Silver Hand server in the game World of Warcraft. Search for us by typing

/who Kuurian Expedition

Send one of us a message by typing

/t [name] Hi! Can I get into the guild? The secret word is FALSTAFF.

We will then invite you to the guild. The secret word system helps ensure that the guild only has members from within a fairly tight professional circle.

The culture and purpose of the guild is self-directed exploration within a friendly, supportive group. More information can be found through the SWI homepage, under 'Exploration.' As a formal launch moment, we will be holding a guild meetup WEDNESDAY AUGUST 2 at 10:00PM EST in the HALL OF EXPLORERS in IRONFORGE.

2. We've launched a blog, the Synthetic World News, at . We'll use this to announce news and hold discussions about the SWI's activities.

3. We will be building large-scale synthetic worlds here at Indiana. That makes IU a good place for graduate study for students with that interest. Information on graduate study can be found through the SWI homepage.

Thanks for your time. Look for a major announcement about SWI's activities in late August or September.

Edward Castronova
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Telecommunications
Indiana University
Phone (812) 856-5981

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