A Simulated Environment for Digital Presence and V-Commerce
The Shenandoah University’s Shenandoah Center for Immersive Learning (SCiL) is partnering with the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) as part of its Smart Communities initiative. Through this project, SCiL will develop a plan for the design and implementation of a virtual city as well as a prototype example of the virtual town square.
This Virtual City (VC) will become a model ecosystem for how Virginians can work, entertain, and socialize in a virtual world, and will build capacity and expertise in virtual reality (VR) around the Commonwealth to enable Virginia to be an early economic leader in the virtual economy of the future. As a result of the virtual city prototype, Virginia start-ups and corporations will realize opportunities to pioneer new forms of entrepreneurship and business use cases in virtual reality. This virtual city will be specifically designed to promote the participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented groups to engage in the emerging virtual commerce (V-commerce) sector. The impact of developing a cutting edge entrepreneurial virtual city will yield profound dividends for the economic prosperity, well-being, and quality of life of people across Virginia and beyond.
The virtual city will serve as a replicable model for technology workforce development in rural America and will create high-paying job opportunities even in economically challenged rural communities that struggle to retain a highly skilled workforce. The project will support virtual reality education, research, and workforce efforts and help to catalyze private sector investment, innovation, and support for startups.
The vision of this project is to build a thriving virtual community for the Commonwealth of Virginia that employs diverse, differently abled, and entrepreneurial individuals. This first-of-its-kind VC will focus on V-commerce.
What if virtual reality were a solution to today’s economic challenges? Can VR be a solution to pandemic interruptions of commerce? Will individuals who have a challenge participating in today’s workforce – such as single parents, retired individuals, individuals with disabilities, veterans with PTSD – find career opportunities in or through V-commerce?