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OpenMinds-Talk: Virtual Worlds for real experiences

Updated Thursday 1st June 2017

Join us at The Open University, in the Berrill Theatre and online as we host an enlightening talk exploring virtual worlds.

Shailey Minocha is a Professor in the Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at The Open University. Her research has two strands: learning technologies and social computing.

Professor Minocha will show how virtual worlds bridge time and places, interleaving the virtual with the real – allowing people to communicate and collaborate with those whom they may have never met, experience places they may never be able to visit, shop, learn, and do research.

Professor Minocha will look at how virtual worlds provide ‘real’ experiences in ‘created’ environments – ‘as if I have met them’, or ‘as if I have visited that place’. Online technologies also provide real experiences beyond the physical world.  She will show how in a virtual world, people can “become” an avatar of their liking, fly, become microscopic, travel to the moon or visit the International Space Station, or look at the rock structures underneath the ground on which they are standing. 

Date: Tuesday 20 June 2017

Time: 4.00-5.00pm

Venue: Berrill Lecture Theatre, The Open University


Virtual worlds also give us a means to overcome physical limitations to address problems such as loneliness, geographical isolation, and cultural differences and Professor Minocha will draw on her research into social isolation and loneliness in older people to describe how her research is helping them.

Professor Minocha said: “Although these worlds are not real, people engage with and within these virtual worlds to socialise, to connect with people and places, and to learn and construct new knowledge and real experiences.”

Event programme:

  • 15:30  Refreshments available (arrive early and enjoy our pre-event display and trailer video)
  • 16.00 Opening
  • 16.03 Introduction to Shailey
  • 16:08 Talk starts
  • 16:43  Q&A session
  • 16:57  Close
  • 17:00  Drinks reception and networking opportunity
  • 18:30  Departure

-To attend the event in person: book here 
If you are attending the event in person there will be networking, discussion opportunities and refreshments after the event.
-Can't join in person? Watch the event live online (link will be live before the event).
If you are viewing the event by livestream, please do take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers LIVE during the event by posting in the COMMENTS BOX on this page - you'll need to register or sign in to do this.

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