The Immersive virtual online avatar society

Rene Novak, BestStart

This video presentation will endeavour to explain the emergence of the ‘immersive virtual online avatar society’ by drawing from experiences gained in virtual worlds, developed with a social multi-user VR software known as VRChat. I will philosophically interrogate defining properties of a society and elaborate on how these are explicated in digitally constructed online spaces. The presentation includes video recordings taken in VRChat that become windows to the cyber world through ‘virtual eyes’. I will also investigate the social contract that was devised for this immersive virtual online society.

This society harbours many occasional visitors, but also hosts some permanent virtual residents, who occupy virtual worlds most of their spare time and in some cases, time spent in virtual reality exceeds their time lived in reality. Important ontological and philosophical questions arise from this societal change, and some will be noted including if it preludes a new way of life for the post-human digital citizen and what does this mean for the future of education.

 

  Bio: Dr Rene Novak, has a strong passion for early childhood pedagogy and technology education. He is currently a Regional Professional Practice Leader for BestStart and is a published academic with his recently completed PhD thesis focusing on developing new methodologies to study the importance of play involving Virtual Reality, as a tool and a method.

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