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Fave 2009 Facets of Virtual Environments International Conference

The FaVE Conference is hosted by The Institute for Computer Science, Social-Informatics and Telecommunications Enginiering, ICST. is the co-operation partner for broadcasting, implementation and promotion of the FaVE Conference in Second Life®.

Register here to follow the broadcast of the first two conference days (July 27th & 28th) virtually in Second Life®.

FaVE 2009
International Conference on Facets of Virtual Environments

Berlin, Germany, July 27-29, 2009.


In recent years, persistent multi-user virtual environments (VE) have come into widespread use on the Internet. As more and more people spend more and more time in these environments, it is becoming obvious that this technology is not merely another medium. Rather, these systems have become sophisticated enough to be considered by their users as actual worlds. Alongside these virtual worlds, emergent effects such as social networking, online economies, virtual businesses and online culture are appearing.

While currently most of the major virtual environments extant online are games such as „World of Warcraft“®, various non-game applications exist and are being developed. These range from classical virtual worlds (e.g. „Second Life“®) to eLearning applications and other serious games. We expect that within a few years time, virtual environments will see pervasive usage similar to the Internet. This forecast raises many exciting challenges and questions, such as future virtual environments supporting millions of users simultaneously, the status of virtual property, or the phenomenon of increasingly close-knit online communities.

Against this background, it is surprising that many of the relevant research topics are still poorly developed. The FaVE conference seeks to address this deficit and provide a venue to research related to the many facets of persistent virtual environments. We therefore welcome diverse contributions covering the entire range of subjects around the vision of present and future persistent virtual environments. This includes both the underlying technology and the resulting, emergent aspects. As such, FaVE is an interdisciplinary academic conference connecting lawyers, engineers, and social scientists.

We welcome previously unpublished work relating to virtual environments, from all fields.

The conference program

Monday, July 27th 2009
09:00 – 09:30 Welcome / Opening
09:30 – 10:30 Keynote: Aram Bartholl – „Are You Human?“
10:30 – 11:00 coffee break
11:00 – 12:30 Track 1:
Exploring the Use of Virtual Worlds as a Scientific Research Platform:
The Meta-Institute for Computational Astrophysics (MICA)

S. G. Djorgovski (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena), P. Hut (The Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), S. McMillan, E. Vesperini (both: Drexel University, Philadelphia), R. Knop (), W. Farr (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge), and M. J. Graham (California Institute of Technology, Pasadena)
Dual Reality: Merging the Real and Virtual
Joshua Lifton and Joseph A. Paradiso (MIT Media Lab)
Development of Virtual Geographic Environments and Geography Research
Fengru Huang, Hui Lin (both: Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, Chinese University of Hong Kong), Bin Chen (Institute of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System, Peking University)
12:30 – 14:00 lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Track 2:
Landmarks and Time-Pressure in Virtual Navigation:
Towards Designing Gender-Neutral Virtual Environments

Elena Gavrielidou and Maarten H. Lamers (both: LIACS, Leiden University, The Netherlands)
Characterizing Mobility and Contact Networks in Virtual Worlds
Felipe Machado, Matheus Santos, Virgilio Almeida, and Dorgival Guedes (all: Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brasil)
The Effects of Virtual Weather on Presence
Bartholomäus Wissmath, David Weibel (both: Swiss University, Institute of Distance Education) and Fred W. Mast (all three: University of Berne, Switzerland)
15:30 – 16:00 coffee break
16:00 – ? Hyperlocality
Invited Speaker Ibrahim Mazari
(Turtle Entertainment GmbH)

Interactive Track

Tuesday, July 28th 2009
09:00 – 10:30 Track 3:
Complexity of Virtual Worlds‘ Terms of Service
Holger M. Kienle (University of Victoria, Victoria), Andreas Lober (RAe Schulte Riesenkampff, Frankfurt am Main), Crina A. Vasiliu (University of Victoria, Victoria), and Hausi A. Müller (RAe Schulte Riesenkampff, Frankfurt am Main)
The Role of Semantics in Next-Generation Online Virtual World-Based Retail Store
Geetika Sharma, C. Anantaram, and Hiranmay Ghosh (all: Tata Consultancy Services, Haryana, India)
StellarSim: A Plug-in Architecture for Scientific Visualizations in Virtual Worlds
Amy Henckel and Cristina V. Lopes (both: University of California, Irvine)
10:30 – 11:00 coffee break
11:00 – 11:30 Much Ado about (virtually) Nothing? – A Civil Law Perspective on Operators‘ Contractual Liability for Virtual Goods
Invited Speaker Carina Neumüller
(RAe Schulte Riesenkampff, Frankfurt am Main)
11:30 – 13:00 Track 4:
Formalizing and Promoting Collaboration in 3D Virtual Environments –
A Blueprint for the Creation of Group Interaction Patterns

Andreas Schmeil and Martin J. Eppler (both: Faculty of Communication Sciences, University of Lugano, Switzerland)
Usability Issues of an Augmented Virtuality Environment for Design
Xiangyu Wang and Irene Rui Chen (both: Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, The University of Sydney, Australia)
Conceptual Design Scheme for Virtual Characters
Gino Brunetti (INI-GraphicsNet Stiftung, Darmstadt), and Rocco Servidio (Linguistics Department, University of Calabria)
13:00 – 14:30 lunch
14:30 – 16:00 Track 5:
The Managed Hearthstone:
Labor and Emotional Work in the Online Community of World of Warcraft

Andras Lukacs, David Embrick, and Talmadge Wright (all: Loyola University Chicago)
Human Rights and Private Ordering in Virtual Worlds
Olivier Oosterbaan (Create Law, Amsterdam)
Investigating the Concept of Consumers as Producers in Virtual Worlds:
Looking Through Social, Technical, Economic, and Legal Lenses

Holger M. Kienle (University of Victoria, Victoria), Andreas Lober (RAe Schulte Riesenkampff, Frankfurt am Main), Crina A. Vasiliu (University of Victoria, Victoria), and Hausi A. Müller (RAe Schulte Riesenkampff, Frankfurt am Main)
16:00 – 16:30 coffee break
16:30 – 17:30 Closing
19:30 Conference Dinner
Wednesday, July 29th 2009
Legal Workshop on International Operation of Virtual Worlds
Greg Boyd , Konstantin Ewald , Vincent Scheurer
09:30 – 11:00 Legal Session 1
11:00 – 11:30 coffee break
11:30 – 13:00 Legal Session 2
In this two part workshop, we will look at the major international issues facing virtual world operators today. The workshop will be taught through short presentations of background material followed by group discussion and problem solving using real-world situations to prompt discussion. The issues covered in this workshop include, children in virtual worlds, user contracts across international boundaries and age groups, screening user content and free speech, privacy, ratings issues, and intellectual property. Our panel international panel will lead a lively interactive discussion on these topics while sharing their personal experiences working through these problems.

Main audience:

Game industry professionals and academics interested in the game industry. The entire workshop is built around practical solutions to real world international game industry problems.


A short presentation on background information (30-45 minutes) will be given. Then, we will pass out written materials with hypothetical business cases. We will run the workshop as a round table discussion integrating the background material, the experience of the workshop leaders, and the experience of the audience.
The three workshop leaders will share responsibility for both workshops. We will divide the presentation and hypotheticals among ourselves so we can bring our expertise into the workshop and work to prevent audience fatigue listening to one speaker and one point of view. We have deliberately chosen 3 people working in different major commercial international jurisdictions to give a wide variety of views on each case.

13:00 – 14:30 lunch
Education Workshop on What to Teach about Virtual Worlds
Constructing a good virtual world studies program

Richard A. Bartle
14:30 – 16:30 (incl. coffee break)
With the growth of virtual worlds, especially MMORPGs, there is an increasing demand among students for courses in this area. Yet what should such courses teach? Few academics have any experience of virtual worlds except as a player – it’s like asking a beer-drinker to teach brewing. This workshop aims to identify the essential points that any course aiming to teach students about virtual worlds should cover.

Main audience:

Academics interested in teaching material directly concerned with virtual worlds (whether game worlds such as World of Warcraft, or social worlds such as Second Life). Also, industry people who want to ensure that the academics aren’t teaching crazy things. It is assumed that all attendees have some experience of playing a virtual world.


The workshop begins with a short presentation explaining the different basic approaches to teaching this kind of subject matter. It is followed by a short but intense information-gathering phase in which all attendees have a chance to make multiple points. After the coffee break, the format switches to that of a roundtable. The information which was gathered earlier in the workshop is used as a catalyst to identify what key points everyone studying virtual worlds should know. A summary of what has been divined ends the workshop.


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