Interaction and Interactivity in Metaverse

Interaction and Interactivity in Metaverse

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6351-0.ch006


This chapter approaches the Interaction potential that arises from the Interactivity provided in the Metaverse technology, which is connected to Immersion, Telepresence and Digital Virtual Presence in Metaverses. Some of the subtopics presented and discussed are: Concept of Interaction and Interactivity; Mutual Interaction and Reactive Interaction, Types of Interaction, Languages and interaction/interactivity in Metaverse, as well as a brief conclusion to the chapter, demonstrating that the Metaverses presents new elements for the educational context, meaning that the methodologies and the pedagogical practices, so far adopted, are not able to exploit to maximum potential the level of interactivity offered by technology. It is therefore necessary to construct methodologies and practices that take into account such potential and be able to enable mutual interaction between those involved in the educational process.
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Conceptualizing Interaction And Interactivity

Contrary to what it may seem, the word ‘interaction’, according to Starobinski’s studies of historical linguistics (2002), does not find its background in the classical Latin Language1. The author states that ‘interaction’, as a noun, was first introduced to the Oxford English Dictionary in 1832 (being presented, at that time, as a neologism), and the verb ‘to interact’, in the sense of acting with reciprocity, in 1839. In France, the word ‘interaction’ only appeared after another neologism: ‘interdependency’. (being in the dictionary only in 1867)

The human being lives in constant and continuous interaction with the environment, being it physical or social and, more recently, digital, in a way that interaction is part of the human development process. Moreover, it has formed as an object of study of different theorists like Jean Piaget and Humberto Maturana, who have investigated interaction from the interrelations between biological bases and the social environment, using the perspective of the physical space.

Jean Piaget, a Swiss epistemologist, investigated human development in search of understanding the origin of knowledge, therefore learning, long before the emergence of digital technologies. For Piaget, interaction is the ‘action between/along with’, occurring between the subject and the environment, either physical or social, meaning the involvement of two or more elements, which can be of the same nature, different ones or combined. If we signify it for the current time, we could say that such environment, besides being physical, can also be digital and/or hybrid.

From the perspective of Jean Piaget’s Genetics Epistemology, interaction is the action between/along with, implying a relation of interdependency and reciprocity between the subject and the environment, as a social environment (between subjects) and/or physical (in the context the subject, or subjects, develop the action), in a way that this action between/along with, carries out changes both in subjects and in the context where interaction is developed, which means for Piaget that interaction necessarily implies action and the subject’s activity.

Within this context, Piaget (1987) repositions the intelligence issue, frequently defined as the capacity to solve problems, either innate or acquired, and assuring intelligence as a function. In this way, as in all other functions that enable a human organism’s surviving, it is purely justified by interaction. Nevertheless, if intelligence is considered a function, how does it work? It always functions as a service of adapting the subject to the interchanges with its environment.

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