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My experience attending the Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds Conference 2010

I was able to attend from the comfort of my home office. There were many panel discussions but these bullet points are from the discussions on vGov and Virtual World studies to stay in line with the initial discussion about Second Life. I would encourage others to go to their website and check out the recorded discussions. The material presented was awesome and excited to see the DoD is on board!!!


Preconceptions– Mr. Chris Smith CIO of US Department of Agriculture admitted that at first it’s hard to see the business value. But what I took is that once you jump in, you
too will become a believer!

Experience- During a normal conference call most people are multi-tasking and not engaged 100%, within virtual world you
are completely engaged. Presence allows
for information flowing and this environment increases learning by 50%.
is expected to go down 2012 to $1000 per user.

Why join or what are they getting out of this? Join other early adopters,
leverage information, collaborate with other organizations, learn from their
projects and exchange vendor information.

Execution-Mr. Chris Smith shared that in about 3 months his team created a proof of concept. They were able to work with vendors, get
passed the security obstacle, stood up a community of practice, and were able
to see value right away.

Current uses

· M Medical treatments- treating PTSD and depression

· Ed Education-visit My Base Public on Second Life to experience the history of Air Force

· Pe Perfect job function- Submarine commanders are able to interact, use tactical systems, and run experiments.

· S Share information/research- Budget constraints are always an issue. Those that have more funding can share their findings with others.

Future uses

· A Avatars can take a person through career development process when in reality resources
are not available

· FoFire management- can see the layout of the land, simulate the weather patterns
and map troop movement

· S Simulate training for various emergencies

· F FAA may one day be able to do their jobs on a 3-D setting to have more accurate feel for space dimension

· In Information Assurance training, most of the time people do not learn anything new and are
not thrilled to complete their IA training. An ideal scenario would be to have instructor led training but it’s too costly. Instead people may one day be able to take this training on world.

· JH Joint Base San Antonio (Air Force) is planning to use a virtual world for their
Medical Education Training Campus with the goal of having new people process
through a virtual world. People will get accustomed to the environment and all training will be done on world. If it is successful, this will be transferred to other fields.

· N NDU iCollege- Is building a base to lead organizational learning and collaborate
with other federal agencies. They hope to be able to model and interact with an ERP, create a financial management organization, conduct analytics, incorporate knowledge management, the Learning Management System, and bring all sorts of data to the virtual base.

Potential problems

· G Getting everyone access

· C Costs

· P Protecting identities

· Pe Perfect place for terrorist to infiltrate

· D Data Retention process has yet to be established

Summary– Dr. Paulette Robinson is truly a visionary and sees this as our future and the Fed government needs to stay ahead of the curve. Virtual worlds help facilitate transfer
learning. We are in an age of inter-connectivity and this is an ideal environment. In a virtual world formless concepts can be visualized. PowerPoint, Adobe Connect
and DCO/DKO are boring. They do not allow people to interact, relate with others vs. in a virtual world you can accomplish precision learning, training and much more!

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Paulette Robinson

I appreciated your summary of the vGov panel. I have been reading The Singularity by Ray Kurzweil and he predicts that in the future our interactions in real world and virtual worlds will be blended and almost seamless. Government is only beginning to explore what this can mean for us internally. The vGov project is allowing a secure environment with 4 different virtual worlds to explore and implement use cases that will not only serve our individual agencies, but also the entire government. Currently the government is using these spaces for meetings, conferences, education, training, rapid prototyping, collaborative workspaces. There have been tests to use them for continuity of operations, and command and control. What do you think are the best ways to use virtual worlds in government? How can this be expanded to the citizens? Join us in GovLoop in the Virtual Worlds for Government group.

Carolina Laverde

Dr. Robinson, thank you for your dedication. Your work on vGov is really exciting! If vGov can potentially start with the Information Assurance training on virtual world, I think it would be a fast win. I also think we could use it to practice emergency evacuation routines and potentially demonstrate to customers new product releases that are difficult to visualize i.e. enterprise architecture. One of the issues that I have experienced in the private sector along with military commands is that no one understands the duties or functions of the other departments within an organization. Down the road if people within one organization can tour each other’s environment, it will open up the lines of communication and speed up work flow. I would imagine the same touring option may be available for citizens interested in learning more about the agencies- all contributing to OpenGov.

Kitty Wooley

Thanks for taking the time to share your observations, Carolina. I read about this but didn’t participate, and have been hoping to hear more.