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Lecture Series: XR as Communication: The Future is Here with Dr. Donna Davis

February 27, 2024 @ 6:00 pm

TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR. Adults $5, Teachers & students free.

Keeping up with technological innovation is turning our vocabulary into alphabet soup! Consider AR, VR, XR, and AI! These represent emerging platforms now used in the world of immersive media. And while many people think of these as children’s games and entertainment spaces, they are being used to improve communication and build community. Consider why Nike used Roblox to build its brand and sell products or why the Republican party used AI to respond to President Biden’s announcement about his bid for re-election. How does Gucci use AI, VR, and NFTs to attract new audiences? Can virtual worlds be used for community support and fundraising? In this presentation, Dr. Davis will answer these questions and more about immersive technologies and how they’re being used in the field of communication.

Donna Davis is an expert in virtual reality (VR), digital embodiment, tech equity and inclusion, and digital social capital. At the University of Oregon in Portland, she is an associate professor and director of the Oregon Reality Lab and the Immersive Media Communication master’s program. She also served as director of the University’s Strategic Communication master’s program for ten years. Her ethnographic research focuses on the potential uses of social virtual worlds, gamification, and other emerging immersive media, with a special interest in marginalized and vulnerable communities. Her research on embodied experience and identity among people with disabilities in virtual reality was funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. She has also extensively studied people with Parkinson’s disease who find and build support in the virtual world. Her interests continue to explore the impacts of these experiences on both the promise and peril of technosolutionism, recognizing both the isolating and connecting powers of these emerging immersive environments.

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