ground<c>: the enablement of creativity in a metaverse

Elif Ayiter

ground<c> is a metaverse learning environment, dedicated to the enablement of creativity and inspired primarily by ''The Groundcourse''; Roy Ascott's ground breaking art educational methodology developed and practised during the 1960's. The Groundcourse's aim was to shake up preconceptions and established patterns through behavioural exercises, games, role-play and particularly through the implementation of ''irritants'', operating under the tenets of Dewey's Experiential Learning theories as well as Cybernetics. However, ground<c> will also incorporate educational theory that has been formulated between then and now. One such addition, Seymour Papert's Constructionism/''Serious Play'' holds that learning can happen spontaneously during active play, particularly during the process of building of objects/toys. Unlike Piaget, for whom it is a mere stage that the infant outgrows in time, Papert places great value on concrete thinking – i.e. thinking with and through concrete objects. It is a grave mistake, in Papert’s view, to cast off concrete thinking, in favour of purely abstract thought. However, beyond the benefits of engaging in ''Serious Play'', engaging in purely frivolous, aimless play can also accrue considerable benefits to the creative process as has been elaborated upon by Sutton-Smith in ''The Ambiguity of Play''.

The design of experimental, amphibian virtual architecture fulfilling the requirements of this dual brief; comprised of both highly changeable/unpredictable components akin to holodecks, within which the ''irritants'' of the Groundcourse can be implemented and enacted; as well as relatively static spaces designated for gathering, building and play thus meeting the requirements of constructionist methodology is a crucial component of the author's research. Thus, a full description of the design process, as well as a visual documentation of all design phases, currently under way in ''Second Life'', will constitute the framework of this paper.


2008, Singapore | home | site map | travel info | registration