Friday, April 27, 2012

Resident Profile: Davis Woolley

For those of you who are not familiar with him or have not yet had the privilege of speaking with him, I would like to introduce you to Davis Woolley... just another example of the fine talent that we have here at SpotON3D.

Davis is the Virtual Producer for ACT, or Applied Creative Training. He does his work in the field of public health, specifically designing scenarios in online environments that can be used for training purposes. Davis describes himself as a content creator through and through, and likes to have his designs speak for themselves. He wants to help people see the 3DWeb as a major professional tool, and believes that "the best way to learn is to play... and virtual worlds represent a largely untapped and near unlimited source for games that focus on teaching."

Davis was introduced to online worlds while at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He started developing objects and locations intended for use in simulated public health environments, and that expanded to scripting, skins, and eventually sculpts. He says that most of his designs lean toward being utilitarian and realistic, although he admits that the fantasy aspects of virtual worlds are what really draws him in.

Of Davis' builds that I have seen, one of my personal favorites is on ACT Exercise Island, where he has recreated the inside of an international airport terminal, complete with a security check, concourse, and passengers. I especially like the attention to detail that Davis puts into his builds. And I couldn't help but chuckle at the fact that he has set up a grand total of eleven Starbucks restaurants inside the concourse. Other notable builds nearby are a trauma/burn center, and a rail yard depicting a derailed train. A lot of his builds are still works in progress, but they show a great deal of promise.
Above all else, Davis describes himself as a gamer. "Years ago, my kindergarten teacher informed my parents that all I ever want to do is play games. Twenty five years later, I'm still trying to figure out how to make sure that I never stop playing." His college major was in Game Art and Design, and as a project manager for the University of Illinois Chicago's Center for the Advancement of Distance Education, he gravitated towards projects that allowed him to teach via play. He has been an independent web developer for a while now, but continues to pursue these sorts of projects.

Davis feels fortunate to have a loving and supportive wife and daughter, as well as a great network of friends. While offline, he enjoys camping, movies, and video games, as well as western and Japanese animation. In fact, he told me he was planning to attend the Anime Central convention in Rosemont, Illinois, where his daughter "has demanded that we all dress up as Super Mario Bros characters." If you see him, you might want to ask him if they actually followed through on this.

If you're interested in seeing the airport scenario described earlier, then come in world and go to From there, you can move around to other builds he has there as well as on the adjoining sims.

Davis is a person of great vision and imagination, and he will be working to develop more interactive training exercises within SpotON3D. We wish him the greatest of success in his work.

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