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FIREFLY GEISHA & CYPRIS
BUTTERFLIES: LESSONS FOR
METAVERSES
Dr. Jean-Paul DuQuette
University of Macau
ARTeFACTo 2022
University of Saint Joseph, Macau SAR
METAVERSE HYPE (2021-2022)
• Facebook buys Oculus VR and rebrands
as Meta (Lang, 2021)
• Sony pays Epic games $1 billion to
develop a metaverse platform (Abetz,
2022)
• Corporate enthusiasm for NFTs and the
blockchain linked to the metaverse as a
concept.
“IN THE METAVERSE…”
MARNE LEVINE: META, THE METAVERSE AND HOW WE’LL BUILD IT TOGETHER – CONNECT 2021 (OCTOBER 29, 2021).
METAVERSE EDUCATION:
FAR FROM UNPRECEDENTED
SECOND LIFE:
A PROTO-METAVERSE
• Released in 2003 by Philip Rosedale’s
Linden Lab
• A persistent, contiguous, 3D graphical
chat environment
• Resident-based economy with its own
currency
• Arguably still the most popular (non
MMORPG) MUVE online
EDUCATION IN SECOND LIFE
• Peaked in the late 2000s
• More than 300 universities “inworld”
(including Harvard Law School and
Stanford) in 2008
• Volunteer and for-profits still provide
classes teaching languages, scripting,
art, religion and more.
• Role-play, dating and support groups
also provide classes and seminars.
WHY DID UNIVERSITIES LEAVE
SECOND LIFE?
• They could not leverage SL as a tool for
promotion.
• Security concerns in a contiguous
virtual space.
• University firewalls, learning curve and
graphics requirements.
• As SL’s graphics improved, the platform
became more and more notorious for
adult content.
MY (HOPEFULLY TRANSFERABLE)
RESEARCH QUESTIONS
• What makes a successful virtual world
learning community?
• What affordances can a virtual world
platform provide learners and
educators?
• What learner characteristics or
backgrounds resonate with a virtual
world learning environment?
• What lessons can future metaverse
educators keep in mind when
designing their own programs?
PARTICIPANTS (1)
CYPRIS CHAT
• A volunteer language learning and
teaching community
• Founded in 2008 by Mike McKay and
Mystie Slade
• Provides English and Japanese classes
as well as a learning “park”
• More than 500 members at its height
(circa 2011)
• Now approximately 30 active members
PARTICIPANTS (2)
THE FIREFLY COMPANIONS GUILD
• A role-play finishing school loosely
based on Joss Whedon’s Firefly
• Incorporates Tibetan Buddhism and
Japanese geisha culture into their
curriculum
• While there were more than 100 active
members at its peak of popularity, as of
2021 it hovered around 30-50 members
METHODOLOGY
• Qualitative and ethnographic
• Participant observation in Cypris (2008
– 2022) and in the CG (2016-2020).
• Discourse analysis of semi-structured
interviews, classes, informal activities,
and ceremonies with both students and
staff.
• Transcripts of text and voice chat were
coded thematically with a focus on
observed and self-reported affordances
SECOND LIFE EDUCATIONAL
AFFORDANCE CATEGORIES
• A. Platform-based
affordances
• B. Social affordances
• C. User dependent appeal
• D. Role-play assisted
learning
A. PLATFORM-BASED AFFORDANCES
• Convenience and cost
• Multi-modal communications
• Improved spatial
representation
• Collaborative building
• Safety and privacy
• Ease of gamification
B. SOCIAL AFFORDANCES
•Extra-curricular
socializing
•Borderless interaction
•Non-traditional lessons
•Identification with the
platform culture
C. USER-DEPENDENT APPEAL
• Appeal for technology first
adopters
• Appeal for residents already in
SL (for reasons other than
education)
• Avatars may reduce anxiety
• Accommodation of disabilities
AN ASIDE ON ROLE-PLAYING IN SL
Augmentationist RP Immersionist RP
D. ROLE-PLAY ASSISTED LEARNING
• Learning through RP in training
situations (e.g. the Cypris holodeck)
• Learning as playing in character (IC)
(e.g. Buddhawheel)
• Use of avatars for transformative
representation.
LESSONS FOR TEACHERS
ANTICIPATING THE METAVERSE
• Do not expect metaverse education to
be intrinsically interesting to younger
students.
• Do not expect it to be embraced by
institutions (security concerns)
• Great for projects requiring primary
data (sociology, psychology) or
creativity (art, design)
• Optimal for independent learners and
those already over the learning curve.
METAVERSE HYPE ALREADY ON THE
DECLINE?
• Meta loses over $2.8 billion first quarter
2022 (Wang, 2022)
• Even Meta employees don’t want to use
Horizon Worlds. (Tassi, 2022)
• Meta lays off 11,000 workers (Vanian,
2022)
• Ubisoft cools on NFT/blockchain
research (Quarmby, 2022)
• The “vague”, umbrella term “metaverse”
is derided in gaming and tech press.
LESSONS FOR METAVERSE
DEVELOPERS
• Free entry
• Resource light
• VR headset optional
• All ages (but stratified?)
• Leverage user-created content
• Default avatars should be attractive
• Balance privacy and security
PAPER BIBLIOGRAPHY
• A.J. Mitchell, D. Khanzachi, J.Murphy, I. Zigurs, and D. Owens, “Avatars, People, and Virtual Worlds:
Foundations for Research in Metaverses,” Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Volume 10,
Issue 2, pp. 90-117, February 2009.
• N. Stephenson, Snow Crash. New York: Bantam, 1992.
• M. Abetz, “Sony Invests $1 Billion in Epic Games to ‘Build the Metaverse’, Business2Community,
April 14, 2022.
• https://www.business2community.com/nft-news/sony-invests-in-epic- games-metaverse-02467984
(Accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
• E. Castranova, Synthetic Worlds, Chicago: University of Chicago, Press, 2005.
• E. Cline, Ready Player One, New York: Random House, 2011.
• E. Almirall, “Teaching in the metaverse is much closer to being in the classroom than in an online session”, Do
Better, Podcast transcript, February 24, 2022. https://dobetter.esade.edu/en/technology-virtual-
• reality-education (accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
• W.J. Au, The making of second life, New York: Collins, 2008.
• R.D. Hof, My virtual life, BusinessWeek, May 1, 2006,
http://large.stanford.edu/publications/coal/references/hof/ (Accessed August 31, 2022).
• Long Now Foundation. What if we digitize everything? (November 30, 2006). Accessed: August 31, 2022.
[Online Video]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoUsnYzEeHc&ab_channel=Lo
ngNowFoundation
• P. Michels, “Universities use Second Life to teach complex concepts”, Government Technology,
July 27, 2010.
• https://www.govtech.com/education/universities-use-second-life-to- teach.html (Accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
• K. Lim, “The six learnings of Second Life: A framework for curricular interventions inworld,” Virtual Worlds
Research, 2(1), pp. 1-11, 2009. https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/424/466 (Accessed
August 31, 2022).
• P. Hogan, “We took a tour of the abandoned college campuses of Second Life”, Splinter,
https://splinternews.com/we-took-a-tour-of- the-abandoned-college-campuses-of-sec-1793849944
(Accessed August 31, 2022).
• 3DM. “3Dm to wa: Introduction”, 2009.
• http://www.3dm.matrix.jp/orp/ (Accessed Aug. 31, 2022).
• P. Dansinger, Individual and Group Belonging in the Metaverse: Identity, Culture and Connection (Aug. 27,
2022). [Online Video] Available: https://www.facebook.com/fam.aswara/videos/456205269764030/
• N. Galov, 18 Second Life Facts in 2022: What It Means to Live in a Virtual World (Apr. 6, 2022).
https://webtribunal.net/blog/second-life-
• facts/#gref (Accessed, Aug. 31, 2022).
• J. DuQuette, “Cypris Village: Language learning in virtual worlds,” Ed.D dissertation, Dept. of Ed., Temple
University: Japan Campus, 2017.
• J. DuQuette, “Affordances in virtual world learning communities” in Handbook of Research on Teaching With
Virtual Environments and AI, G. Panconesi and M. Guida , Eds. IGI Global, 2021, pp. 461-491.
• K. Leswing, “Meta lost $2.8 billion on its virtual reality ambitions during Q2”, CNBC,
July 27, 2022.
• https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/27/meta-reality-labs-lost-2point8- billion-in-q2-
2022.html?&qsearchterm=meta%20lost (Accessed August 31, 2022).
• Meta, The Metaverse and How We’ll Build It Together – Connect 2021 (October 29, 2021). Accessed: August
31, 2022. [Online Video]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvufun6xer8&ab_channel=Meta
ADDITIONAL REFERNECES
• Abetz, M. (2022, April 14). Sony Invests $1 Billion in
Epic Games to ‘Build the Metaverse’.
Business2Community.
https://www.business2community.com/nft-
news/sony-invests-in-epic-games-metaverse-
02467984
• Lang, B. (2021, October 28). Facebook rebrands as
“Meta”, Oculus Branding to be Phased Out. Road to
VR. https://www.roadtovr.com/facebook-rebrand-
meta-quest-oculus-phase-out/
• Quarmby, B. (2021, September 13). Ubisoft cools off
on NFTs and blockchain, says it’s in ‘research mode’.
Cointelegraph.
https://cointelegraph.com/news/ubisoft-cools-off-
on-nfts-and-blockchain-says-it-s-in-research-mode
• Tassi, P. (2022, October 7). Even Meta employees
don’t want to go to own metaverse. Forbes.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2022/10/07
/report-even-metas-employees-dont-want-to-go-
its-own-metaverse/?sh=60225ae16fcf
• Vanian, J. (2022, November 9). CNBC. Meta laying
off more than 11,000 employees.
https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/09/meta-to-lay-off-
more-than-11000-thousand-employees.html
• Wang, N. (2022, July 28). Facebook Parent Meta
Loses $2.8B on Metaverse Division in Q2. CoinDesk.
https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/07/27/fa
cebook-parent-meta-loses-28-b-on-metaverse-
division-in-q2/
ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY JEAN-PAUL
DUQUETTE EXCEPTING:
• 2 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon_Worlds
• 3 -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvufun6xer8&
ab_channel=Meta
• 4 -
https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Second_Life_Educa
tion
• 5 - https://techcrunch.com/2022/01/13/second-
life-philip-rosedale-returns-linden-lab-high-fidelity
• 6, 8, 13 – Mystie Slade
• 19 -
https://about.fb.com/news/2022/08/launching-
horizon-worlds-in-more-countries-in-europe/

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Firefly Geisha & Cypris Butterflies: Lessons for metaverses

  • 1. FIREFLY GEISHA & CYPRIS BUTTERFLIES: LESSONS FOR METAVERSES Dr. Jean-Paul DuQuette University of Macau ARTeFACTo 2022 University of Saint Joseph, Macau SAR
  • 2. METAVERSE HYPE (2021-2022) • Facebook buys Oculus VR and rebrands as Meta (Lang, 2021) • Sony pays Epic games $1 billion to develop a metaverse platform (Abetz, 2022) • Corporate enthusiasm for NFTs and the blockchain linked to the metaverse as a concept.
  • 3. “IN THE METAVERSE…” MARNE LEVINE: META, THE METAVERSE AND HOW WE’LL BUILD IT TOGETHER – CONNECT 2021 (OCTOBER 29, 2021).
  • 5. SECOND LIFE: A PROTO-METAVERSE • Released in 2003 by Philip Rosedale’s Linden Lab • A persistent, contiguous, 3D graphical chat environment • Resident-based economy with its own currency • Arguably still the most popular (non MMORPG) MUVE online
  • 6. EDUCATION IN SECOND LIFE • Peaked in the late 2000s • More than 300 universities “inworld” (including Harvard Law School and Stanford) in 2008 • Volunteer and for-profits still provide classes teaching languages, scripting, art, religion and more. • Role-play, dating and support groups also provide classes and seminars.
  • 7. WHY DID UNIVERSITIES LEAVE SECOND LIFE? • They could not leverage SL as a tool for promotion. • Security concerns in a contiguous virtual space. • University firewalls, learning curve and graphics requirements. • As SL’s graphics improved, the platform became more and more notorious for adult content.
  • 8. MY (HOPEFULLY TRANSFERABLE) RESEARCH QUESTIONS • What makes a successful virtual world learning community? • What affordances can a virtual world platform provide learners and educators? • What learner characteristics or backgrounds resonate with a virtual world learning environment? • What lessons can future metaverse educators keep in mind when designing their own programs?
  • 9. PARTICIPANTS (1) CYPRIS CHAT • A volunteer language learning and teaching community • Founded in 2008 by Mike McKay and Mystie Slade • Provides English and Japanese classes as well as a learning “park” • More than 500 members at its height (circa 2011) • Now approximately 30 active members
  • 10. PARTICIPANTS (2) THE FIREFLY COMPANIONS GUILD • A role-play finishing school loosely based on Joss Whedon’s Firefly • Incorporates Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese geisha culture into their curriculum • While there were more than 100 active members at its peak of popularity, as of 2021 it hovered around 30-50 members
  • 11. METHODOLOGY • Qualitative and ethnographic • Participant observation in Cypris (2008 – 2022) and in the CG (2016-2020). • Discourse analysis of semi-structured interviews, classes, informal activities, and ceremonies with both students and staff. • Transcripts of text and voice chat were coded thematically with a focus on observed and self-reported affordances
  • 12. SECOND LIFE EDUCATIONAL AFFORDANCE CATEGORIES • A. Platform-based affordances • B. Social affordances • C. User dependent appeal • D. Role-play assisted learning
  • 13. A. PLATFORM-BASED AFFORDANCES • Convenience and cost • Multi-modal communications • Improved spatial representation • Collaborative building • Safety and privacy • Ease of gamification
  • 14. B. SOCIAL AFFORDANCES •Extra-curricular socializing •Borderless interaction •Non-traditional lessons •Identification with the platform culture
  • 15. C. USER-DEPENDENT APPEAL • Appeal for technology first adopters • Appeal for residents already in SL (for reasons other than education) • Avatars may reduce anxiety • Accommodation of disabilities
  • 16. AN ASIDE ON ROLE-PLAYING IN SL Augmentationist RP Immersionist RP
  • 17. D. ROLE-PLAY ASSISTED LEARNING • Learning through RP in training situations (e.g. the Cypris holodeck) • Learning as playing in character (IC) (e.g. Buddhawheel) • Use of avatars for transformative representation.
  • 18. LESSONS FOR TEACHERS ANTICIPATING THE METAVERSE • Do not expect metaverse education to be intrinsically interesting to younger students. • Do not expect it to be embraced by institutions (security concerns) • Great for projects requiring primary data (sociology, psychology) or creativity (art, design) • Optimal for independent learners and those already over the learning curve.
  • 19. METAVERSE HYPE ALREADY ON THE DECLINE? • Meta loses over $2.8 billion first quarter 2022 (Wang, 2022) • Even Meta employees don’t want to use Horizon Worlds. (Tassi, 2022) • Meta lays off 11,000 workers (Vanian, 2022) • Ubisoft cools on NFT/blockchain research (Quarmby, 2022) • The “vague”, umbrella term “metaverse” is derided in gaming and tech press.
  • 20. LESSONS FOR METAVERSE DEVELOPERS • Free entry • Resource light • VR headset optional • All ages (but stratified?) • Leverage user-created content • Default avatars should be attractive • Balance privacy and security
  • 21. PAPER BIBLIOGRAPHY • A.J. Mitchell, D. Khanzachi, J.Murphy, I. Zigurs, and D. Owens, “Avatars, People, and Virtual Worlds: Foundations for Research in Metaverses,” Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp. 90-117, February 2009. • N. Stephenson, Snow Crash. New York: Bantam, 1992. • M. Abetz, “Sony Invests $1 Billion in Epic Games to ‘Build the Metaverse’, Business2Community, April 14, 2022. • https://www.business2community.com/nft-news/sony-invests-in-epic- games-metaverse-02467984 (Accessed Aug. 31, 2022). • E. Castranova, Synthetic Worlds, Chicago: University of Chicago, Press, 2005. • E. Cline, Ready Player One, New York: Random House, 2011. • E. Almirall, “Teaching in the metaverse is much closer to being in the classroom than in an online session”, Do Better, Podcast transcript, February 24, 2022. https://dobetter.esade.edu/en/technology-virtual- • reality-education (accessed Aug. 31, 2022). • W.J. Au, The making of second life, New York: Collins, 2008. • R.D. Hof, My virtual life, BusinessWeek, May 1, 2006, http://large.stanford.edu/publications/coal/references/hof/ (Accessed August 31, 2022). • Long Now Foundation. What if we digitize everything? (November 30, 2006). Accessed: August 31, 2022. [Online Video]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZoUsnYzEeHc&ab_channel=Lo ngNowFoundation • P. Michels, “Universities use Second Life to teach complex concepts”, Government Technology, July 27, 2010. • https://www.govtech.com/education/universities-use-second-life-to- teach.html (Accessed Aug. 31, 2022). • K. Lim, “The six learnings of Second Life: A framework for curricular interventions inworld,” Virtual Worlds Research, 2(1), pp. 1-11, 2009. https://journals.tdl.org/jvwr/index.php/jvwr/article/view/424/466 (Accessed August 31, 2022). • P. Hogan, “We took a tour of the abandoned college campuses of Second Life”, Splinter, https://splinternews.com/we-took-a-tour-of- the-abandoned-college-campuses-of-sec-1793849944 (Accessed August 31, 2022). • 3DM. “3Dm to wa: Introduction”, 2009. • http://www.3dm.matrix.jp/orp/ (Accessed Aug. 31, 2022). • P. Dansinger, Individual and Group Belonging in the Metaverse: Identity, Culture and Connection (Aug. 27, 2022). [Online Video] Available: https://www.facebook.com/fam.aswara/videos/456205269764030/ • N. Galov, 18 Second Life Facts in 2022: What It Means to Live in a Virtual World (Apr. 6, 2022). https://webtribunal.net/blog/second-life- • facts/#gref (Accessed, Aug. 31, 2022). • J. DuQuette, “Cypris Village: Language learning in virtual worlds,” Ed.D dissertation, Dept. of Ed., Temple University: Japan Campus, 2017. • J. DuQuette, “Affordances in virtual world learning communities” in Handbook of Research on Teaching With Virtual Environments and AI, G. Panconesi and M. Guida , Eds. IGI Global, 2021, pp. 461-491. • K. Leswing, “Meta lost $2.8 billion on its virtual reality ambitions during Q2”, CNBC, July 27, 2022. • https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/27/meta-reality-labs-lost-2point8- billion-in-q2- 2022.html?&qsearchterm=meta%20lost (Accessed August 31, 2022). • Meta, The Metaverse and How We’ll Build It Together – Connect 2021 (October 29, 2021). Accessed: August 31, 2022. [Online Video]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvufun6xer8&ab_channel=Meta
  • 22. ADDITIONAL REFERNECES • Abetz, M. (2022, April 14). Sony Invests $1 Billion in Epic Games to ‘Build the Metaverse’. Business2Community. https://www.business2community.com/nft- news/sony-invests-in-epic-games-metaverse- 02467984 • Lang, B. (2021, October 28). Facebook rebrands as “Meta”, Oculus Branding to be Phased Out. Road to VR. https://www.roadtovr.com/facebook-rebrand- meta-quest-oculus-phase-out/ • Quarmby, B. (2021, September 13). Ubisoft cools off on NFTs and blockchain, says it’s in ‘research mode’. Cointelegraph. https://cointelegraph.com/news/ubisoft-cools-off- on-nfts-and-blockchain-says-it-s-in-research-mode • Tassi, P. (2022, October 7). Even Meta employees don’t want to go to own metaverse. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paultassi/2022/10/07 /report-even-metas-employees-dont-want-to-go- its-own-metaverse/?sh=60225ae16fcf • Vanian, J. (2022, November 9). CNBC. Meta laying off more than 11,000 employees. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/11/09/meta-to-lay-off- more-than-11000-thousand-employees.html • Wang, N. (2022, July 28). Facebook Parent Meta Loses $2.8B on Metaverse Division in Q2. CoinDesk. https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/07/27/fa cebook-parent-meta-loses-28-b-on-metaverse- division-in-q2/
  • 23. ALL PHOTOS TAKEN BY JEAN-PAUL DUQUETTE EXCEPTING: • 2 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizon_Worlds • 3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uvufun6xer8& ab_channel=Meta • 4 - https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Second_Life_Educa tion • 5 - https://techcrunch.com/2022/01/13/second- life-philip-rosedale-returns-linden-lab-high-fidelity • 6, 8, 13 – Mystie Slade • 19 - https://about.fb.com/news/2022/08/launching- horizon-worlds-in-more-countries-in-europe/