Basser Seminar Series

Being There Together: The Future of Social Interaction in Virtual Environments

Ralph Schroeder
James Martin Research Fellow, Oxford Internet Institute

Wednesday 12 March 2008, 4-5 pm

School of IT Building, Lecture Theatre, Room 123, Level 1


This presentation will provide an overview of different types of shared virtual environments and how people interact in them. This includes immersive (Cave-type) and PC-based environments, small and large groups, and collaborative instrumental tasks as well as socializing. Various aspects of interaction - navigation, communication, avatar appearance, and comparisons with real world interaction - will be highlighted and results from a number of studies of these topics summarized. The argument is made that we can anticipate what the future of 'being there together' will look like, both technically and socially. The implication is that we can use this forecasting to improve the social and technological shaping of shared virtual environments.

Speaker's biography

Ralph Schroeder is James Martin Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute. Before coming to Oxford University he was Professor in the School of Technology Management and Economics at Chalmers University in Gothenburg (Sweden). His publications include Possible Worlds: The Social Dynamic of Virtual Reality Technology (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996), and Rethinking Science, Technology and Social Change (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2007). He has published many articles about social interaction in virtual environments and about the social aspects of e-science. He is currently working on various projects about e-Research.

More information at: