Monday, February 20, 2012

Social Interactions

Dear Mr. Bailenson,

I found your writing about Transformed Social Interaction in Collaborative Virtual Environments both very informative and relevant.  While working with the virtual world Second Life, I have been learning a lot about these virtual environments recently.  I thought your three dimensions of the TSI theory really intertwined with Second Life and I found this very interesting.  I thought the teachers utilizing distance learning applications was a cool idea because keeping track of each student in a virtual environment could be much more difficult than in a face-to-face situation.  Participating and receiving help online is completely different than in a normal, classroom setting.  Another idea I agreed with was how the use of rendered time in a situational context can benefit users.  Sometimes students or employees could miss something said so the availability to pause and rewind can only help everyone involved.  Your last dimension regarding self-representation was interesting because my classmates and I went through the same type of process.  People had to decide how they wanted their avatar to appear and be perceived by their environment and society around them.  Although many people put a lot of emphasis on this factor, I didn’t think it was all too important.  I think being in a virtual world should disregard any conversations about personal appearance and whether it actually resembles the user.  I really liked  the fact that the instructor can change their facial appearance for every individual student to maximize success.  This is a crazy idea that really shows how far technology has come and is going.

Chris Imperiale

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