Links, Links and More Links...

I have been pulled in so many directions lately that I've been having trouble finding time to blog about everything that has been happening. So consider this post as a chance to catch up on some materials which may be of interest to my regular readers. A few weeks ago, I joined my CMS colleague Beth Coleman for a conversation about virtual worlds, hosted by the MIT Club of Boston and webcast to alumni around the country. You may recall that Coleman and I were two participants in a three way conversation with Clay Shirky about virtual worlds a while back. Coleman is in the process of writing Hello Avatar!, which is intended as a primer about virtual worlds. She regular writes about such topics over at her Project Good Luck Blog. The fine folks at the MIT Alumni Office offer a streaming version of the conversation. And Ravi Mehta, VP of Publishing for Viximo, a virtual goods start-up, has posted a thorough and perceptive account of the event over at Virtual Worlds News

Those of you who have been engaged by my recent posts on "The Moral Economy of Web 2.0" might be interested in the podcast of a recent colloquium CMS hosted which focused on "viral media." Berkman Center Fellow and C3 Consulting Researcher Shenja van der Graaf moderated a candid converation with Natalie Lent from Fanscape and Mike Rubenstein of The Barbarian Group. The session offers some rich insights into the thinking behind contemporary branding and advertising practices.

For those of you more interested in the world of games, check out this podcast of our event last week with Dennis Dyack, the founder and president of Silicon Knights. In this capacity, he oversees the creation and development of games, and continues to further the growth of the company. Under Dyack's direction, Silicon Knights has evolved into one of the top independent interactive software developers in the world. Working with Nintendo as a second party, Silicon Knights created the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness. Together with Nintendo, Silicon Knights worked with Konami to create Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes. In this podcast, Dyack discusses his views on why video games may represent the 8th Art and describes some of the thinking going into their Too Human trilogy, currently under development. This event was sponsored by the MIT-Singapore GAMBIT Lab.

You might also be interested in listening to recordings of two other recent events hosted by the MIT Communications Forum:

A conversation with John Romano, writer and producer on more than a dozen shows including Hill Street Blues, Party of Five, and Monk as well as creator of Class of '96, Sweet Justice, and Michael Hayes.

A discussion of the globalization of contemporary television featuring CMS's co-director William Uricchio, Utrecht University's Eggo Müller and University of Nottingham's Roberta Pearson.

Both events are moderated by David Thorburn, the director of the MIT Communications Forum.

Coming up soon: two events jointly hosted by the MIT Communications Forum and the Center for Future Civic Media: one featuring a conversation between Cass Sunstein and Yochai Benkler; the other a program on Youth and Civic Engagement (which features Lance Bennett, editor of Civic Life Online: How New Media Can Engage Youth; City Year's Alan Khazei; and MTV's Ian V. Rowe).