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Ageing Well and Learning through Online Immersive Participation Using a Multi-user Web 3D Environment

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2 Author(s)
Matthew Chilcott ; Inst. of Digital Learning, Univ. of Wales, Newport, Newport, UK ; Ann Smith

The Second Life (SL) multi-user virtual environment offers researcher opportunities to experiment with its rich communication, virtual collaboration, and 3-D content creation integrated tools. The SL synthetic world has already revealed great potential for heritage, education and learning but much of the existing applications made have focused on engagement with digital native audiences. The contribution of this paper identifies the importance of developing and designing tailored virtual places which older members of society can utilize easily and safely within this context, with a focused application of addressing social isolation, enabling well being and lifelong learning. In this paper we also discuss our experiences of introducing SL to an elderly community and imparting to them the skills required to interact within the 3D environment and the resources that we developed to support their induction and training. This paper explores the impact of this approach and signposts next steps in experimenting with the use of SL as a domesticated digital technology tool that offers potential to support Ageing Well in our Information Society. We believe that we are the first researchers to conduct a small scaled pilot study of this kind with two elder members of society both aged over 75.

Published in:

Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications (VS-GAMES), 2011 Third International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-6 May 2011