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Session Title: "Metaverse Panel: the development of 3D virtual worlds"
Speaker: Alanah Mitchell, Associate Professor, Drake University, USA
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Session description: Panel Description: The metaverse is a term that recently gained a lot of attention in the mainstream media when Facebook announced its decision to rebrand itself into Meta and to focus on the development of 3D virtual worlds. However, the origins of the metaverse date back decades ago and numerous applications already exist that immerse users into augmented, virtual and mixed realities. Blockchain technology, and especially the use of NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens), promise to take metaverses to the next level by enabling the creation and sharing of digital assets and digital identities. In this panel we discuss the origins of the metaverse, its current status and its potential future development. Additionally, we highlight its capabilities that go far beyond the world of gaming and elaborate on dangers that might arise from data misuse or addictive behaviors.

Bio:  Alanah Mitchell is the Aliber Distinguished Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Information Management and Business Analytics in the College of Business and Public Administration at Drake University. She holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Professor Mitchell’s research focuses on the design, implementation, and use of information and communication technologies for collaboration, specifically in global virtual teams. Additionally, she researches in areas of e-commerce and information systems pedagogy.