What is a Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) ? by Ricky Steven.
And why am I writing about it?.
I’ll start off by telling you that during my honours year, this is one of my classes. A CVE is a means of creating and sharing work together with one of your peers and doing so with good communication skills and setting out clear goals with the tasks at hand. A simpler form to explain it would be using Google Docs with your chum, where both can edit and have immediate access at any time. Another example would be using Skype as a form of meeting, or discussion on a project. These both provide a great service which is free and should serve as a vital tool for any modern day student/workplace… so long as there is an internet connection!.
The subject covers the useful methods such as using cloud systems for word documents, saving and sharing data and even social media for communication. But there was also an aspect for using 3D or Game-like software’s. They portrayed the importance of communication, regardless of the environment and they demonstrated a clip of World of War Craft. The clip features around a dozen individuals , one of which tried to create a plan of attack but moments later the plan falls short as a few charge in recklessly to attack an Enemy NPC .
There is a wide range of methods of using a CVE. We will start off with a few examples which are the obvious ones that are a must!.
Google – If you don’t have a Google/Gmail account then you must still walking around with your eyes shut walking into rakes like side show bob!. Google offers multi-purpose services within the touch of button. They offer the Drive where you can store and create just about anything, create documents, drawing, spreadsheets, forms/surveys, Control your business analytical and search optimisations. All viewable on any device with an internet connection. And even features Google+ which ties in with Hangouts and Chat, which should really rival Facebook.
GitHUb – Is an Web-based repository hosting service. available online, mobile and desktop it offers several collaboration features such as: wikis for projects, drive space, task management and much more.
DropBox / Other cloud drive service- Easy to use and can be used across many platforms, simply send the link to who you are collaborating with.
OfficeOnline – Microsoft’s version of Google Docs. Pros -The formatting within other word documents isn’t as proficient as Microsofts and most university’s have office 365 extension for their emails. Cons – People just don’t like using Microsoft products. I use a Mixture of this and Google docs, mainly use this to format my Google docs.
Facebook – Social Media are a great way to connect and contact peers. Its also very simple for you to create a group and add members to it, this makes it easier to update, inform and its a familiar UI that is very familiar to almost evryone.
Skype – One of the best methods, and now becoming a more formal way of contacting peers or business partners. They offer good cam-2-cam and the more reliable text based or microphone based ways of communication. They are also developing a translation system so you can eventually speak to another person who speaks a foreign language
Some Early Virtual Worlds (VW)
- MUD = Multi-User Dungeon – Can be interactive texts based or Vector Graphics
- MOO = MUD, Object Oriented – The Same as MUD but with the ability to create or program aspects of the world such as (LambdaMOO)
- Educational/Corporate MUD- Some boast over 50 organisations and 100K users such as (TappedIN)
- Active worlds – Been around since the 1995 , the same year Ebay started, DVD formats became available and many great movies such as: Ace Ventura, Golden Eye (The game was even better), Braveheart, Casper, and not least Jumanji. But the VW its a 3D active world that is still going on today like many of those classics.
A nice little reminiscing and a break form CVE, But lets get back to it!
Some Recent Virtual Worlds
- OpenSim – http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Main_Page
- Open Wonderland – http://openwonderland.org/
- BlueMars – http://www.bluemars.com/
- Many games Such as: Mine Craft, Terrania, Destiny, World of War Craft etc
- Many more
These worlds offer a place to explore and be different, although most take these VW seriously and hang out with their friends there!
What can be learned in a CVE?
- Team building & management
- Corporations & guilds
- Numeracy & Literacy
- A lot of information is communicated in text, and quests/exp is a lot of number crunching!
Many Games offer the chance at collaboration and cooperative skills.
- World of War Craft – Planing, Communicating, Crafting, Number crunching,optional cooperation (Highly suggested),
- Mine craft – Planing, Layouts, Crafting, Number crunching, Communicating, optional cooperation
- Destiny – Planing, Communicating, Team work (Forced in Raids/Strikes), optional cooperation
- Ark: Survival Evolved – Planing, Layouts, Crafting, Number crunching, Communicating, Optional cooperation (Highly suggested)
- Elder Scrolls Online – Planing, Communicating, Crafting, Number crunching, Optional cooperation, Team work (Forced in some parts)
There are numerous and I simply picked out some of the most popular, and the ones I have had experience with.These were just examples of ways of collaborating out side of the norm, by the means of having the option of doing something fun within a medium like a game.
But the the reason that I have written this, is to emphasis how important these skills are. In the near future companies will need to know who can collaborate efficiently and who can’t, seems trial to many but after years at UWS nothing surprises me. Theres innocence and ignorance, there easily mixed up, but there are still thousands of people out there who know how to use Microsoft word but still don’t know how to effectively use mediums such as Facebook or Google docs. For job applications I would fully expect within the next 5 years for them to ask what ways of CVE are you familiar with and provide examples, I would put it in your CV also!. It could spark a conversation and you would seem up-to-date with being proficient at communicating and being able to produce coursework/ real work anywhere any time.
Our course work was split into two assessments. The First was a small literature chosen by our lecturer , during which we had to show signs of collaborating together using Goggle Docs and Facebook Chat/ Groups, our short literature of the first assessment can be seen here CVE1.
The second assessment which brings us to the title of the page, is about collaboration within a virtual environment. The lecturer proposed such online worlds as SecondLife, River City Project and Quest Atlantis, however we felt they were abit dated and our first proposal was to use Mine craft and create a village and a learning environment. Then after one of our many discussions on games and tech, we both hit an amazing idea. Lets create our own Jurassic park in ARK.
More updates to Follow on the play-through, and development of our project.
Don’t work hard, Work smart.