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"Demiurges of the Digital: The Creation and Curation of Virtual Worlds" @ UC Berkeley (04/30/2009)

 Henry Lowood will be presenting his research on virtual worlds preservation at UC Berkeley on April 30 2009 as part of the ongoing series of lectures organized by the Berkeley Center for Nerw Media. The title of Lowood's talk is "Demiurges of the Digital: The Creation and Curation of Virtual Worlds"

location: 340 Moffitt, BCNM Commons,, 01:30 - 03:00 pm. The event is free and open to the public. 

1:30 PM: Henry Lowood, Curator for History of Science and Techology Collections; Film and Media Collections, Stanford University

Demiurges of the Digital: The Creation and Curation of Digital Worlds

Henry Lowood's talk begins with a simple-minded historical question: When did the computer become a space? This question is simple-minded for many reasons, yet it is more than a straw man for beginning an investigation of virtual worlds.  It opens up a use of computers that has largely been left out of historical accounts thus far: Their use as immersive spaces that are inhabited in ways that encourage users to think of them as separate from the real world, that is, as "virtual worlds."  The focus of this talk then will be an historical shift in the use of computers that is less well understood than the expansion from the calculating engine, and cannot be reduced entirely to the paradigms of “human use” that emerged in the 1960s and 1970s. It is the notion of the virtual world linked to the development of game technology, virtual reality, and simulation, the idea of the computer as defining a space. As part of a discussion of the problem of dealing with the many and complicated threads of virtual world history, this talk will consider the relevance of other sources of “virtual world” thinking ranging from mathematics to fictional worlds and will consider the implications of the history of virtual worlds for practical matters of their curation.
Additional information can be found here.


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