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Fabio Villares (2008) defines "Virtual World" as a term that has no definite words to describe, but goes ahead to look at it as "a broad word that applies to a wide variety of software-enabled spaces". Fabio further quotes Chesebro (1985) as having said that the world virtual has different uses in different times namely the media, academics and the industry professionals. "The screen is a window through which one sees a virtual world" (Sutherland, 1965). (Fabio, 2008).It is prudent to note that the virtual world brings together several players that come from different cultural and racial back grounds. These players meet in a virtual world "an imaginary world". But through their shared interaction the behaviors as those that occur in the "real world" come to play.
Dialogue in the virtual world can provide us with the whole new aspect on cross cultural communication and "clearing of the smoke" around issues that were once viewed as sensitive. It is in order to note that for many centuries now the Western world has been at logger head with the Eastern world. Islam as a religion has on more than one occasion been associated with terrorism, murder, kidnaps and other religious led injustices. Through the initiation of the Understanding Islam through "the virtual world" program by Joshua S.Fouts and Rita J.King who are employees of "Carnegie Council" ."When Fouts joined Dancing Ink Productions as Chief Global Strategist in December 2007, he and Rita King decided to turn the project into a quest to see what they could learn about Islam-not by inviting particular people with particular perspectives into Second Life, but rather to follow the trail of what was already happening culturally in the space that might yield new insight about Islam. We (Fouts and King 2008-2009) are conducting this project as Carnegie Council Senior Fellows."
Through their Dancing ink TV program King Talks about the Imagination age and how to achieve it. He emphasizes the importance of imagination as a medium through which people's cultural energies can be transferred through interactions. Through the new life program Fouts talks about it being a perfect place for meeting and blending different cultures in an attempt to save the world. Through his character Rita Fouts talks about how people alter the world by using technology to build a new culture that brings out individual cultures rather than the complicated cultural frame work people are born into. This virtual world is thus important in that it employs poetry, story telling and songs in try to reduce the people's preconception of politics and prejudice. This in turn improves on intercultural communication.
Through the virtual world one is able to have a feel of things even if they are not physically present when the events happen. It is reported that through the culture of music, story telling and the virtual world one is able to experience events first hand. An example is given of the book titled "The Kite Runner" which talks about the life in Afganistan.We come to realize that had it not been for this culture of story telling employed in this book that leads the readers into a "virtual world" of the real happening in Afghanistan then the problem would have not been addressed (Fouts and King, 2008-2009).
The truth also comes out in the Virtual world as portrayed in the (Fouts and King2008-2009) Dancing Ink. It is reported that through Ambassador Schneider's research she found out that many Americans don't care about Islam. This came out when many were asked about their attitude toward Islam and the response most of them gave was "don't know". On the Muslim side this "Virtual world" brings out the answer to a question that has for long been asked. "Why do the 1.3billion Muslims hate the West?"The answer to this question is found to lie in the respect the west lacks for the Islam countries and not in the war in Iraq as perceived by many.
On the contrary this Virtual World idea is slowly eroding people's original culture as most people are now living the world that is 'unreal". This second life theme in the Dance ink may also erode the cultural feel that people have, through the infiltration of the western culture into the Islamic world the dressing and communication patterns have become corrupt.
The Virtual World is not a free to join social network like Twitter of Facebook for it entails the buying and installation of softwares.This proves a challenge to people from the developing worlds that have an interest of interacting and communication through this medium.
In a nutshell the "Virtual World" as developed by Fouts and King has brought a new dimension to life as a whole while improving communication between different cultures through the creation of a "virtual" platform that anybody can freely use to air out their contentious issues. This platform can however be best enhanced if it were made available to persons from different culture and walks of life that have an interest in the blending of cultures through this outstanding new phenomena known as the "Virtual World" but are un able due to the financial constrains.
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