When: Thursday, October 11, 2012 from 7:00 pm to 9:30pm
(7:00-7:30 social networking, 7:30-8:30 presentation, 8:30-9pm Q&A)
Where: US Patent and Trademark Office
600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 – (building TBD)
Washington DC ACM SIGGRAPH would like to invite you to attend a special presentation from Dr Jacquelyn Ford Morie, Senior Research Scientist/Project Director from USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT). Dr. Morie will talk about her work in avatars and virtual worlds at ICT and the Transitional Online Post-Deployment Soldier Support in Virtual Worlds (TOPP-VW), also known as “Coming Home.” Ms. Morie is a true Pioneer in the computer graphics industry and DC SIGGRAPH is honored to have this special opportunity to meet her. Please come early for some social networking before the presentation!
About Jacki Morie:
Jacquelyn Ford Morie currently leads the Virtual Words Group at ICT, which explores the potential of virtual worlds to address real world needs and affect positive change in participants who use them. She specializes in the fields of immersive worlds and social networking, as well as their connections to mobile technologies.
Prior to joining ICT, Morie spent six years in the animation and effects industry at
Disney Feature Animation, Blue Sky|VIFX and the award winning Rhythm & Hues. From 1990 to 1994, she was a researcher at the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Simulation and Training doing pioneering work in affective virtual reality environments designed to evoke emotional responses from their participants. She is co-founder of the game collective, Ludica, and has spoken at many international venues on the subject of games for experiential learning, virtual worlds and the effects of online identities.
Ms. Morie is a long-standing ACM SIGGRAPH member and is a current director on its executive council. In addition she has held several key positions within the annual conferences over the last 25 years. She is widely published with numerous papers on virtual worlds, virtual reality, games and their social impacts. She has contributed book chapters to Beyond Barbie and Mortal Combat (2007), Harry O’Neill’s Computer Games and Team and Individual Learning (2007), Systems in Health Care Using Agents and Virtual Reality (2010) and Affective Computing and Interaction: Psychological, Cognitive, and Neuroscientific Perspectives (2010). She is also a member of the International Visual Effects Society, the Digital Games Research Association, Women and Games International, the Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback Society, and the International Society of Presence Research. She holds an MFA and an M.S degree in computer science from the University of Florida. She earned her doctorate in computer information from the University of East London. Her dissertation focused on theories of space, embodiment and meaning in immersive virtual environments.
About TOPP-VW at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies
Transitional Online Post-Deployment Soldier Support in Virtual Worlds (TOPP-VW) also known as “Coming Home,” explores the domains of persistent, easily accessible virtual worlds for delivering 3D tele-health experiences. Using the Second Life platform, we have created a specialized online virtual world for the benefit of post-deployment soldiers who are reintegrating to civilian life. This is often a difficult time for many soldiers due to both physical and psychological challenges. “Coming Home”
provides a dedicated space where soldiers can interact, find camaraderie, and
connect to resources for healing and transition. Thus, this environment serves
a function similar to the twentieth century VFW Halls.
The project builds on two of ICT’s research strengths: intelligent virtual humans and immersive virtual world expertise. ICT’s virtual humans “live” in this virtual world, where they serve as helpers, guides and storytellers, enhancing player experience and providing helpful information and way finding.
This work expands current virtual world capabilities by creating activities that provide physical – “real” – world benefits to participants. For example, inspired by breathing techniques of many relaxationtherapies, a veteran can use controlled breathing in an ordinary headsetmicrophone to cause their avatar to run on a virtual jogging path. Results from a study on this activity have shown a significant reduction in stress markers for participants.
“Coming Home” implements evidence-based Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) within the virtual world. With experts from the University of San Diego Center for Mindfulness, two experimental eight-week sessions were held. Virtual world mindfulness classes will also be held through our partnerships with AMEDD at Ft. Sam Houston, and the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in TBI and Psychological Health (NICoE) in Bethesda MD.
In addition, veterans can experience a Warrior’s Journey that consists of interactive narratives about the life and ideals of classic warriors, designed to be relevant to today’s soldiers. The capstone of the Warrior’s Journey is an interactive authoring system where veterans can create their own stories.
Visit cominghomecenter.org to learn more about TOPSS-VW.