By the Numbers
Federal Virtual World Participants: 1,600
1,600 people participated in this year’s Federal Consortium for Virtual Worlds, in May in Washington, D.C. This number of virtual enthusiasts has grown steadily from five founding members in 2007. ESRL’s Eric Hackathorn (Global Systems Division and also NOAA’s virtual worlds program manager) is an ambassador for developing virtual worlds for the federal government, and renowned as one of the first to establish a science presence in Second Life.
Hackathorn went on to lead a multi-organizational effort to develop the expanding virtual continent SciLands, also within Second Life. In addition to NOAA, NASA, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, and others have created islands in this virtual archipelago; all neighbors with a focus on science education. “By being in close virtual proximity to one another, conversations take place and ideas take form that would have never have occurred in the real world Hackathorn said.