New York Law School’s Institute for Information Law and Policy is delighted (ecstatic, actually) to announce the first Graduate Student Symposium for the Serious Study of Virtual Worlds at the State of Play VI Conference.1
So, we hear you ask, what is this unimaginatively titled symposium?
It’s like this:
State of Play was the first conference on virtual worlds, started way back in 2003. It represented a kind of Woodstock moment for many of us who had just begun the serious study of virtual worlds. Since then we’ve run the conference every year (or so) and we’re now up to number six (or “VI” if, like us, you’re big fans of the Superbowl). This year's conference will once again attract speakers and attendees from business, industry, a variety of academic areas, representing a diverse array of viewpoints. We wanted to leverage the opportunity of the conference to gather together the next group of researchers in virtual worlds. VWs are now mainstream enough to attract funding and grad students, and we wanted to take this opportunity to collect as many of you together to talk about your fields of study, and for you to exchange ideas with the older guard who have had to confront the disbelief and difficulties that studying games and online spaces tends to generate. We hope to help this new guard build networks and community, like, well, you know, the way academia is supposed to work.
The Symposium will run on June 18, 2009, immediately before the two days of the main State of Play conference. All attendees at the Symposium will be able to attend the Conference as part of their Symposium registration. The format of the Symposium will be a series of roundtable discussions and small-scale presentations, to be worked out once we know who is coming and what they want to do. A draft program will be available early in May. The basic idea is to have grad students present and discuss their work, and receive commentary and criticism from the graybeards. There will be learned debate, and discussion. There may be music and dancing. There will be alcohol.
In order to make this happen the IILP has engaged in some very creative accounting and is going to make a number of scholarships available to grad students to help with the costs of attending. The basic support will be:
1. Free symposium registration for the Symposium on June 18. Free meals during the Symposium. (Breakfast/lunch/dinner).
2. Free State of Play VI Conference registration for June 19-20. Free meals during the Conference (Breakfast/lunch/dinner on 19th, breakfast/lunch on 20th)
3.a. Free lodging in shared (double) grad student hostel (probably on Upper West Side, maybe Williamsburg, we’re still working on this), for the nights of June 17-June 20;
3.b. Significant help (up to about $500 or so, depending on how much everyone else costs) with airfare.
We anticipate being able to offer between 15 and 20 scholarships. To apply for a scholarship please send (1) a 200-300 word précis of the research you want to present; (2) a resume, (3) the names of a couple of academic recommenders who can vouch for your work, and (4) a description of your first pet,2 to:
Ms Naomi Allen
Administrator, Institute for Information Law & Policy
New York Law School
57 Worth Street
New York NY 10013
Naomi (dot) Allen (at) nyls (dot) edu
Applications close on April 30,
2009, but applications will be processed on a rolling basis from April 14,
2009. If you need an early decision to arrange travel then please get your
application in early and let us know of the urgency. Regular registration
for the Symposium will be available once we’ve processed the
We look forward to seeing you in New York on June 18.
Questions about the Symposium or the scholarships can be addressed to:
Prof. Dan Hunter
Director, Institute for Information Law & Policy
New York Law School
dhunter (at) nyls (dot) edu
1 Yes, we know this is an ugly mouthful, but you’re gonna have to live with it until you come up with a catchier name. For the moment we’ll just call it GSS4SSVW1@SoP6. Simple huh?
2 The description should note how cute they are/were, how sad you were when they died/were spayed, etc. Make us say “awww” or make us cry; but make us feel something. If you have never had a pet, then send us your SSN and an essay describing your deepest fears (all fears subject to scientific verification, publication or outright ridicule).