The creation of my model for 3D remediation is clearly a work in progress…
As I’m starting to assemble literature and other resources that have influenced my thinking and may be relevant for the theoretical foundation of the model I’ve been reviewing the so called Metaverse Roadmap Overview (MVR 2007). Back in February 2008 I had the fortune of participating in the first MetaverseU conference organized by Henrik Bennetsen and others from Stanford Humanities Lab, and this was the first time I was introduced to the MVR.
The MVR focuses on defining and exploring potential pathways to the 3D web by creating a roadmap consisting of 4 Metaverse scenarios. As a starting point the MVR defines metaverse as follows:
the convergence of 1) virtually-enhanced physical reality and 2) physically persistent virtual space. It is a fusion of both, while allowing users to experience it as either.
There is no single, unified entity called the Metaverse—rather, there are multiple mutually-reinforcing ways in which virtualization and 3D web tools and objects are being embedded everywhere in our environment and becoming persistent features of our lives. (…). In sum, for the best view of the changes ahead, we suggest thinking of the Metaverse not as virtual space but as the junction or nexus of our physical and virtual worlds.
Derived from multiple inputs, enabling trends, constants and a survey among other things, the group of authors behind the MVR came up with 4 scenarios based on “two key continua that are likely to influence the ways in which the Metaverse unfolds: the spectrum of technologies and applications ranging from augmentation to simulation; and the spectrum ranging from intimate (identity-focused) to external (world-focused).” In the MVR augmentation refers to “technologies that add new capabilities to existing real systems; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that layer new control systems and information onto our perception of the physical environment.”, whereas simulation refers to “technologies that model reality (or parallel realities), offering wholly new environments; in the Metaverse context, this means technologies that provide simulated worlds as the locus for interaction.”. The combination of these continua leads to 4 different types of Metaverse technologies; 1) Virtual worlds, 2) Mirror worlds, 3) Augmented reality and 4) Life Logging as depicted below:
Though I find these 4 scenarios very interesting, I’m somewhat puzzled by the augmentation-simulation continuum – mainly because I don’t see them as two opposite conditions which usually is the definition of a continuum. A flight simulator would for instance draw on both conditions in trying to simulate the experience of flying, but doing it as realistically as possible and sometimes with the use of HUDs. Now, my puzzlement may stem from poor understanding of the English language and native connotations of which I’m not aware, and the authors behind the MVR do state that the scenarios are partly-overlapping.
In any case, it makes more sense to me to place augmentation on a continuum with immersion. It should also be noted that my model aims at illustrating 4 possible strategies for remediation within 3D virtual worlds which means my focus is narrower only concerned with one of the four technologies in the MVR. The second continuum in the MVR between external and intimate makes a bit more sense to me, though again I would prefer a different terminology inspired by Jung (1920)’s psychological concepts of extraversion and introversion. The reference to Jung is by no means incidental but leads to another theoretical inspiration, namely the Theory of Experiential Learning by David A. Kolb (1984) by which I have previously been inspired in my PhD workings. In relation to his classic “Learning cycle” Kolb argues for a transformation dimension of learning consisting of two polar modes, respectively extension and intention. At this point Kolb is clearly inspired by, but chooses to go beyond, Jung’s extraversion-introversion concept, and even though I often find myself highly inspired by Kolb’s work, I’ve decided to maintain Jung’s original terminology in my own model … for now. I have, however also started to investigate the possibility of including Kolb’s 4 ways of knowing which would result in a 2. version of my model looking like this:
… um!? As tempting as it is trying to make the “whole world” fit into one little neat model, I have to say that I’m not sure about this at all – is it feasible to merge the two models? And perhaps even more important; is it desirable? This experiment is primarily based on intuition and I will need to further investigate this as part of my theoretical work and subsequent data analysis, but as part of my own learning and research process, I needed to get this version out of my head …