2020-2021 Colloquium Series
The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to present
Creating a Realistic Virtual Earth for Tourism and Tourism Studies with Actual-Virtual Harbin Hot Springs: A Case Study
Founder, World University and School
Friday, December 18, 4PM-6PM
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In this TSWG talk I propose to facilitate tourists creating a realistic virtual earth for tourism and tourism studies, with a case study of actual-virtual Harbin Hot Springs [Follow on Twitter - Link] (and with Gradara, Italy, as a complementary example). My intent, thesis, and even argument, is to create an actual-virtual Harbin Hot Springs for tourists and tourism studies' researchers.
Please visit this Onsen (hot spring) in Youtube [Link], on your smartphone, interact with it, and move the device to explore. Click on the mask icon for binocular or stereo vision, which you could then use to slip it into Google Cardboard, and notice the fluidity of the immersive environment.
If, as Dean MacCannell suggests, tourism can be defined as visiting marked sites, often involving travel, or more specifically, following off site markers to onsite markers (p. 42, "The Tourist"), I want to facilitate tourists creating new virtual marked sites, and traveling to them, and visiting them in new ways, in a realistic virtual earth.
I also want to suggest that publishing academic papers from text-in-the-sidebar of Google Street View - this developing realistic virtual earth - will afford a new form of Tourism Studies.
'Authenticity' further, I suggest that virtual tourists, like you and I, visiting the Japanese Onsen above, as well as Virtual Harbin Hot Springs' Gatehouse, and regarding its virtual walking potential, is both very genuine (authentic), and makes possible authenticity from a myriad of new perspectives, regarding "a SEARCH for authenticity in response to alienation, a condition of modernity (per MacCannell and MacLeod).
Lastly, I want to suggest that Ethno-Wiki-Virtual-World-Graphy is a new social science / TSWG method which can facilitate this generation of touristic virtual sites by tourists. Ethno-Wiki-Virtual-World-Graphy is the interpretive practice of ethnography as group wiki-collaboration in a virtual world to create anthropological field sites. Think add-able Google Street View with Text In The Side Bar with group-buildable Second Life for Avatar Bots, but newly with artificial humans, such as Samsung Neons.
Please visit this GDocs' Slides' [Link] and blog [Link] - before and after the talk to visit some of the media.
Scott G.K. MacLeod is an American academic and Professor of Sociocultural Anthropology at World University and School [Link]. He's taught "Network Society, Information Technology and the Global University" on Harvard University's virtual island, and on Penn State Isle in Second Life as a Penn State University instructor. He's taught both anthropology and sociology in real life at Chatham University, the University of Pittsburgh, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received a Master's Degree in anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Diploma of Research from the University of Edinburgh. His research focuses on the information technology network society age, the world wide web cosmos, the virtual, and actual-virtual Harbin Hot Springs, seeking to facilitate the development of a realistic virtual earth for STEM research, and as classrooms (Think Google Street View with time slider +). He is World University and School's founder, president and CEO. WUaS forked successfully in 2017 into a second legal entity, the WUaS Press / Corp, planned with machine translation in all 7,117 living languages. Wiki World University and School is CC-4 MIT OCW-centric (in 4 languages) and CC Yale OYC-centric and seeks to develop major universities in all ~200 countries' main and official languages, as well as wiki schools in all 7,117 living languages too; WUaS plans to offer online CC OCW Bachelor, Ph.D., law, M.D. as well as I.B. high school degrees, partly in group video.
Personal website: http://www.scottmacleod.com
For additional books and bio information, see:
"Naked Harbin Ethnography: Hippies, Warm Pools, Counterculture, Clothing-Optionality and Virtual Harbin" (Academic Press at World University and School, 2016).
Previous UC Berkeley TSWG abstracts as reference:
Actual-Virtual Harbin Hot Springs and Tourism: "Naked Harbin Ethnography" 
Naked Harbin and Ethno-Wiki-Virtual-World-Graphy: Sharing a New Digital Methodology with Tourism Studies, Science & the Social Sciences 
Naked, Virtual Harbin: An Anthropology of Erotisme and the Touristic Imaginaire