"Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace (AbTeC), based out of Obx Labs at Concordia University in Montreal and directed by Lewis and Skawennati Fragnito, is a network of academics, artists, and technologists that encourages Indigenous participation in online culture and exploration of new media technology. The main objective of the AbTeC research network is to discover, define, and implement methods by which Indigenous people can use networked communication technology to strengthen our cultures. In an effort to overcome the economic, social, and cultural factors that influence the low rate of Indigenous participation in the making of new media and encourage Indigenous representation in digital games and virtual worlds specifically, AbTeC proposed to conduct Skins, a game/virtual world development workshop for Aboriginal youth that teaches them design programming, art, animation, and audio. ...
In conducting Skins, our goal is to encourage First Nations youth to be more than consumers of digital media; rather, we wish to show them how they themselves can be creators who can approach games with a critical perspective and from within their own cultural context. We are motivated by the possibilities of digital games and virtual environments for Indigenous peoples as well as correcting or adding to representations of Indigenous peoples in commercial games. Indigenous peoples' survival, recovery, development, and self-determination hinges on the preservation and revitalization of languages, social and spiritual practices, social relations, and arts . Digital games and virtual environments, with their unique combination of story, design, code, architecture, art, animation, and sound , provide a rich medium though which to explore different strategies for pursuing such preservation and revitalization. For example, Thornton Media's RezWorld is a virtual environment for learning the Cherokee language. It has even been argued that the fluid, open, and networked characteristics of modern digital media make it particularly useful as a tool for Aboriginal storytelling, with Loretta Todd, Cree/Métis filmmaker and Director of the Aboriginal Media Arts Lab, suggesting 'the experience of cyberspace offers the reversal of narrative as derived from storytelling, a return to oral tradition' . Furthermore, due to the radical decrease in the costs of the means of production and distribution, digital games and virtual worlds present Indigenous people with a powerful opportunity to widely (or narrowly) communicate stories in which we shape our own representation."
(Beth Aileen Lameman and Jason Edward Lewis, 2011)
"We are delighted to be part of this year's Cinekid Festival (see http://www.cinekid.nl/ for more info) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In among a host of awesome content and highly engaging interactive kid–oriented experiences, we have installed our Living Timeline project. It feels great to give the piece its first international audience, and to be in this cool exhibition."
"Some pioneers of VR technology, including Brenda Laurel and Jaron Lanier, have been among its principal exponents, suggesting that the creation of virtual worlds and of shared cyberspaces will have revolutionary social consequences and allow hitherto unimagined forms of human expression. Such a view is echoed in the work of academic theorists like Donna Haraway and Alluquere Rosanne Stone, who believe that advanced information technologies may have radical political consequences, an idea which they pursue through the image of cyborgs which blur the distinction between humans and machines. These ideas can also be found in the use of VR as a theme in youth culture, for example the cyberpunk nightclubs and cafes in London and San Francisco. Here too, we find an agenda for cultural and political change, in this case, again, premised on innovations in human–machine interface technologies."
(Ralph Schroeder, 1994, pp.519–528)
2). Ralph Schroeder (1994). "Cyberculture, cyborg post–modernism and the sociology of virtual reality technologies: surfing the soul in the information age", Futures 1994 26(5) 519–528 (from a reading list created by Beau Sievers for the lecture series titled "Irony and Utopia: History of Computer Art" at the Bruce High Quality Foundation University).
"Since 1987 IRC researchers and students have been exploring the rapidly developing landscape of visual technology. Initial research involved high–end 3D computer animation to create rich worlds and characters. Visualizations of the otherwise invisible, ranging from biology to long–gone or unrealized architecture continue to be created at the IRC for national broadcast and current feature films.
As digital media tools became more powerful, the IRC began developing interactive, real–time virtual worlds that could respond to the decisions of an involved viewer. Researching and utilizing current game–art technologies, the IRC has created internationally recognized interactive visualizations for museums and other institutions. Additionally, pure research in real–time visualization has involved UMBC students in immersive projects that have attracted national attention.
Today, visualization capabilities have become all but limitless. At the same time, the role imagery plays in contemporary culture is of rising importance. Research at the IRC has expanded to include multidisciplinary research projects to better understand and realize an effective use of imagery to help culture process its most profound ideas. Understanding social media, online communities, and interactive collaborative virtual spaces are basic aspects of this research."
(Imaging Research Center, University of Maryland Baltimore County)
"Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) research aims to improve the quality of formal and informal learning, and to make accessible forms of knowledge that were simply inaccessible before. But research does not translate easily into practice, at school, in higher education or in the workplace. The forms of pedagogy that characterise learning in these settings have remained more or less invariant even when radical technologies have been introduced."
(Technology Enhanced Learning)