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How Virtual is Reality? Day 0 of a Summer School…


Hey folks, my name is Jan and in the next two weeks I will write here about my experiences attending the Summer School How Virtual is Reality? Research in Digital Worlds in Bremen, Germany. “Attending” might be a bit misleading, because I am part of the team putting this thing together over the last year. So, there is a good chance of ‚behind the scenes‘ information. And tears. And laughter. Right now I don’t really know what will become of my posting series, considering days packed full of lectures and sessions. After years of NOT writing in English, I feel a bit challenged by that, too.

So, what is this summer school about? In short: It’s about virtual worlds, religions and all and foremost: people and what they do in these worlds with religious topics. Aspects relevant to this questions are discussed in multiple academic disciplines, what made us try to invite people from different areas of expertise, like e.g. David Morgan, Gregory Grieve, Christopher Helland or Andreas Hepp to get a better understanding of the subject(s) and become in return better researchers – or so we hope. A complete list of teachers could be found on the Summer School’s website, as well as further information on what we thing it should be.

Being a passionate gamer myself, hatched and grown up in the Institut für Religionswissenschaft (religious studies) Heidelberg where seminars about new media, internet and all the other cool stuff crossed my path, I am especially interested in the last days when the relation(s) between religions and games are spotlighted in the sessions. If I had to name a second “must see” for me personally, I would name the network-analysis-day by Martin Engelbrecht – one of those things I always thought of as possible mind changing, but never actually put many hours of studying in.

The next post (and review of the first day) could be expected tomorrow evening, assumed the “Get Together” won’t be too “exhausting” (read: beer!).

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