The Online Counselling and Therapy in Action (OCTIA – see www.octia.org.uk) conference (now in its second year), took place in Manchester, England and online this March 2010 through chat rooms, live video and my own presentation taking place in Second Life with its own chat.
The photograph below shows me presenting to the room of delegates at the OCTIA conference venue, with my own laptop in front of me. Behind me on the screen is the view from my laptop perspective into Second Life, where I was joined by colleagues from all over the world represented as avatars, who had their own chat facility with me via my laptop and the delegates in the room who were also in Second Life as avatars (hence the laptops in the audience). The screen on the wall to my right is where I was shown live from the perspective of one of the other delegates in the room in Second Life, with the official OCTIA chatroom being scrolled to the right of the video, where I was also taking part via audio and my laptop via text.
If that description sounds confusing, the point is that I was present in five different realities simultaneously, presenting worldwide. This groundbreaking event reached four continents – Europe, the USA/Canada, South America and Australia – bringing them together to discuss the use of virtual and mixed realities in counselling and psychotherapy experientially. To ensure the delegates watching in the physical room and online were truly able to understand what working in mixed realities is like, I wore the same clothes that my avatar is based upon, clearer in the photograph below (with my virtual self centre-front of the screen (from my perspective, hence the back view)).
You can also view a video by John Wilson of OnlinEvents and pics of the event. Jokay, founder of Jokaydia where our OTI office and conference center is located, took some great pics while inworld. We are ever so grateful for her design expertise and professional support.