Events without a location

I used to think that free-form virtual worlds, used as communication tools aimed at education, were not yet ready for primetime – at least, not until better integration tools with traditional elearning systems will be developed .

But I had to change my mind, after seeing the results of our challenge last week: 40 people from all over the world meeting in a virtual environment, attending a seminar where 1 moderator and 6 speakers entertained the audience for more than 1 hour.

I was especially stunned by the strong sense of presence, in all the three offices I have been in for a couple of minutes (I was neither a speaker nor a participant, and I was free to move around and just let my curiosity roam) – whether it was a speaker with his own laptop, a participant with his own avatar or three participants in front of a projected screen, it all conveyed a sense of "being there". But, as I found myself explaining to a friend later, there was no "there" at all…