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University is bringing cultures together.

A UNIVERSITY in the North East is launching a virtual world that aims to bring together youngsters of different backgrounds.

The eCUTE programme - Education in Cultural Understanding, Technology Enhanced - is a research programme designed to develop cultural awareness, by engaging children and young people in a virtual world environment.

eCUTE uses graphical characters who display various types of cultural behaviour, and Sunderland University is working on the three-year project with a consortium of research partners.

Sunderland's role in the project will be led by Dr Lynne Hall and a team from the university's computing experts.

Dr Hall said: "This is an incredibly prestigious project which will have real world impact.

"We anticipate significant impacts for the games sector and for cultural learning."

The eCUTE learning environments will be presented to two different groups: children aged nine to 11 and young adults aged 18 to 25.

Dr Hall said: "In 21st Century Europe, many cultural, ethnic and religious groups must live and work together. It is clear that this is not always a smooth process and that cultural differences can lead to social stresses and sometimes outright conflict.

"eCUTE will develop innovative technologically-enhanced learning approaches in cultural understanding and sensitivity that will help to deal with these problems."

For more information about the project go to
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 3, 2011
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