Just like a MOOC, nothing is required, and you are welcome to lurk (and learn). VSTE is hosting both asynchronous events via the discussion board in the Gaming group on the Ning as well as synchronous events on Second Life. As detailed in the website, here is the schedule of live book talks and speaker discussions:
July 9, 8 PM: Kickoff includes video, panel discussion
July 23, 8 PM: Minecraft in the classroom
August 6, 8 PM: Alternate Reality Games, Augmented Reality and Gaming Research
Dr. Jane McGonigal is one of the most widely recognized figures in Gaming and Gamification. She has made several games herself, such as the game she discussed at her most recent TED talk: SuperBetter. "Reality is Broken" details the hows and whys of game-playing, and you are guaranteed to learn a lot behind the science of gaming and society.