Wednesday, April 14, 2010

WDI Organizes Avatar Debate in Virtual Reality

The avatar of Alfred Snider stands in the debating chamber

Avatar Debating comes to you via the Internet on April 20, 2010. The debate will begin at 8 PM Eastern Time in the virtual world SecondLife.

The debate will take place in the WUDC format. The motion: This House would censor the Internet.
First proposition team: Cornell University
First opposition team: Comunidad de Debate Venezuela
Second proposition team: University of Vermont
Second opposition team: St. John's University (NY)

In order to be part of the crowd you will need to:
  1. Start your journey early.
  2. Login to SecondLife at
  3. Create a membership, keep the fake money they give you.
  4. Create an avatar for yourself. Do not spend too much time on this, or do it well in advance, as it can be quite fun.
  5. Teleport to or...
  6. Teleport by searching for St. John's University and go there.
  7. Go through the main door and lobby and the debating chamber will be on your left as you reach the fountain.
  8. Come early enough to get in, last time the room was full and many could not gain entrance.
  9. If all else fails, just take a swim on the beach in front of the building.
The debate is being organized as a demonstration of how virtual reality technology can create opportunities for debate involving people from various parts of the world in real time at no cost. There will be a follow up debate on May 4. The April 20 debate will be taped and offered for on-demand viewing later.

Thanks to St. John's University for allowing us to use their space. The debate is also being organized by the World Debate Institute at the University of Vermont.

The press can contact:
Steve Llano, St. John's University (NY)
Alfred Snider, University of Vermont
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