May 2, 2019: Fantasy in Virtual Worlds Education

Transcript of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable: May 2, 2019

Topic: Fantasy in Virtual Worlds Education
Photos by Beth Ghostraven

We are approaching the end of Fantasy Faire so it seems a good time to discuss the role of fantasy in virtual worlds education. Is it liberating? Creative? Or can it be alienating for some learners? What are the subjects and understandings that most benefit from the incorporation of fantasy into VW education? And what is “fantasy” anyway? One of our topics will be the FF’s Literacy Festival and the “faire stories”.
Bring wings and a dragon avatar if you want to!

Sheila Yoshikawa: Hi everyone, and welcome to the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. We meet on Thursdays at 12 noon SLT for an hour. 8pm in the UK, 3pm EST.
TedWhitecrow: Hello
Sheila Yoshikawa: Hi Ted
Sheila Yoshikawa: VWER is a forum to educate and inform the community about issues that are important and relevant to education in virtual worlds.
Sheila Yoshikawa: This is a public meeting, so we will be keeping and publishing a transcript. The transcripts can be found at The VWER continues to develop a community of educators from around the world.
Sheila Yoshikawa: Please join the VWER group here in SL. If you are on Facebook please join our group there
Sheila Yoshikawa: I am moderating today. The topic for this week’s meeting will be: Fantasy in virtual worlds education
Sheila Yoshikawa: It was stimulated by Fantasy Faire
Sheila Yoshikawa: from which I got these wings, and a few other things, but mostly it was enjoyable to wander round and see the different sims
Beth Ghostraven: Hi Linn!
Sheila Yoshikawa: so we thought that today we could talk about – what does fantasy mean?
Sheila Yoshikawa: what is its place in virtual worlds education
Marly (marly.milena): For me, the realm of fantasy has more to do with
entering other worlds, states of mind, movies, books, paintings, music, than it does with transforming myself into another creature. I have always loved the scenes in Mary Poppins where they go into drawings! Lots of childhood books about entering other worlds, which continues to intrigue me in adult fiction.
Sheila Yoshikawa: and could also discuss some of the Fantasy Faire initiatives
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Fantasy: balancing the US budget
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes thanks Marly
Sheila Yoshikawa: so others of you
Sheila Yoshikawa: what does fantasy mean to you
Sheila Yoshikawa: for me it is letting my imagination run
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): For me it is a genre of fiction
Sheila Yoshikawa: imagining myself in other places, doing all sorts of things, creating worlds, enjoying other people’s ideas and imagination
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Selby yes that is another frequent way of thinking about “fantasy”
Beth Ghostraven: sometimes fantasy is imagining things that couldn’t possibly happen for anyone, and sometimes it’s imagining things that aren’t likely to happen for me
Sheila Yoshikawa: actually I have a category I created on my kindle “fantasy”
Marly (marly.milena): We are in a fantasy world right now….that is what immediately intrigued me about coming into SL. We behave as though we are in an actual space while knowing it is created from fantasy on a screen
Sheila Yoshikawa: I think of it as a positive thing, always, I think
Linn Darkwatch: For education, sometimes alternate history can catch the imagination. “What if the US lost the Revolution” etc. And personally I really like well-done AH stories. Or historical fantasy.
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes @Marly actually one of the exciting things for me is that I am interacting with “products” and ideas from all sorts of other people’s fantasies here
Marly (marly.milena): @Sheila, yes! and collaboration on our fantasies is one of the wonderful strengths of being in this world
Beth Ghostraven: Hi Melanie!
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): Hello
Beth Ghostraven: come join us at the table if you’d like, we won’t make you talk :o)
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Linn from that point of view, having said that about fantasy being positive, there can be dark fantasies that people think up e.g. what if Hitler had won the 2nd world war, what if a nuclear bomb had destroyed the earth
Marly (marly.milena): Creating the new music library, for instance, is a handful of people contributing their fantasies and talents. So exciting!
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): The first thing that impressed me when I came in second life is that worlds are “fantasy” while feelings are not: I mean emotions and relationships are very real
Sheila Yoshikawa: but I tend to prefer to read/watch ones that are a bit more positive
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): All fiction is the work of imagination. I would not use the word “fantasy” as equivalent to fiction
Sheila Yoshikawa: interesting point @Selby
Beth Ghostraven: some people are role-playing different emotions, at times
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): true
Sheila Yoshikawa: Something might come out of my “fantasy” but end up as a more quasi-realistic piece of fiction….
Beth Ghostraven: Hi Daphne!
Linn Darkwatch: @Sheila – yes, there can be dark alternates too. And isn’t that part of looking at such things – contemplating what we might do if a similar thing happened IRL?
Daphne Dench: Hi, Beth
Beth Ghostraven: come join us at the table if you’d like, we won’t make you talk :o)
Daphne Dench: good evening to everyone
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Linn you are right, I suppose it depends how I’m feeling in the physical world e.g. in the UK with Brexit I just want happy fantasy, a fantasy is we never voted to leave Europe….
Sheila Yoshikawa: Petrus said “The first thing that impressed me when I came in second life is that worlds are “fantasy” while feelings are not: I mean emotions and relationships are very real” and Beth mentioned that some people role played emotion, interesting, I think
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): I do hope the tail of Melanie is fantasy 😉

Melanie’s Tail

Melanie (zeldanightfire76): hahha
Sheila Yoshikawa: lol
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): I’ve always been a demon on here but i reflect some of who i am through this avi
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): i’m still a human behind this
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): So my motto is if angels can fall why can’t demons rise or die trying heheh
Sheila Yoshikawa: whereas I always wanted to be a fairy queen lol
Linn Darkwatch: @Sheila – That’s why I also read stuff I mentally categorize as Mind Candy. Light stories with what I know will be happy endings.
Marly (marly.milena):
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): buuut the tail has a mind of its own
Linn Darkwatch: @Melanie – why not! (In an RPG, I was in a faction of reformed demons. We had some great philosophical discussions there!)
Daphne Dench: Melanie, to complete what you are saying, I think the story of Dark Vader is very interesting, on that subject.
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): So fantasy can be “privately” educational, as it allows each avatar to experiment different behaviours
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): and there you go
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): agreed
Daphne Dench: How to become a demon, and why, and how to be saved again.
Sheila Yoshikawa: thanks Marly, useful ” a creation of the imaginative faculty whether expressed or merely conceived”
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): I have always told people, even though this is a fantasy world, i play me in here with looks and personality, but i am able to explore safely
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): i met my rl husband on here and finally with him rl after 9 years
Sheila Yoshikawa: do you think in fact it is more useful or feasible when it is “privately” educational
Sheila Yoshikawa: (Petrus mentioned privately)
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): but that doesn’t mean you can’t be someone else on here. explore possibilities
Daphne Dench: That does not surprise me, Melanie,
Sheila Yoshikawa: ;-))) @Melanie
Marly (marly.milena): @Selby–All fantasy is fiction but not all fiction is fantasy unless you include the creation of something from imagination as the manifestation of the writer’s fantasy!
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): :))
Daphne Dench: I always said about Second Life, in rl I need to go out with someone 6 timesand still not know enough of him
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): :))
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): understood
Daphne Dench: when I sit 4 times talking to someone, here in SL… I have pretty much an idea of who he is.
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): second life makes things happen faster
Sheila Yoshikawa: When I had students here actually I told them about or made available outfits or avatars that were more fantastical if they choose to use them or try them, but it wasn’t something I forced on people
Sheila Yoshikawa: although already I was “forcing” them into a place where there was flying and treehouses
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): lol
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Right, Marly — it is a matter of semantics — when I use a word it means exactly what I intend it to mean, no more, no less.
Beth Ghostraven: there are some interesting fantasy outfits and avatars provided by Linden Lab now; you can find them in your Library
Sheila Yoshikawa: agree on one level it may seem like fantasy but can be very revealing
Sheila Yoshikawa: the fact that I have changed into a fairy godmother costume already says something about me
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): olol
Linn Darkwatch: I’m just a skwerl

Kendell (impact0): to meet someone in SL certain ethical characteristics of the person behind the avatar are necessary
Marly (marly.milena): @Selby–that is a sticky wicket since the Listener may not appreciate your exact meaning but will often lay his or her own spin on it
Marly (marly.milena): LOL
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): now on the flip side if i may, this can be the devil’s playground as well, and interfere in your real world
Daphne Dench: Kendell… I think a profile and an avatar are saying a lot of a person, and it takes you like 2 minutes to get to know that.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Quite so, Marly. So a discussion will not work if the discussants use the same word with different meanings.
Marly (marly.milena): @Melanie, ah, yes, I have coached many people here on this conundrum. It can be very challenging for a lot of people
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): In this discussion we shifted a bit from the original theme, because we considered the whole second life as a fantasy world,,, maybe we should concentrate on the educational effect of the classic fantasy environments?
Melanie (zeldanightfire76): just infidelity and whether or not it is accepted since it is a fake world
Beth Ghostraven: Melanie and Marly, I agree, and it can sneak up on people who aren’t aware of how intimate a text conversation can be
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): BTW: I was quoting Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
Kendell (impact0): a fantasy has behind it a personality
Sheila Yoshikawa: Re: interpreting it differently – I think when talking about being able to let free your fantasy in a virtual world, some would see it as light and liberating, but others might associate it with people indulging dark fantasies and find it frightening
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes I recognised it Selby! I was brought up with Alice, I used to read it with my mother
Marly (marly.milena): @Selby, I used many wonderful quotes from Alice in the beginning of each chapter of my book (Counseling in Genderland) to illustrate the fluidity and ambiguity of gender shifting
Marly (marly.milena): Love that book!
Sheila Yoshikawa: so @Marly as you engage with adult learners, not in formal education, do you discuss fantasy with them, I suppose it emerges in the symbolic modelling, well their imaginations anyway
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): An interesting question could be: can a fairy environment be educational the same as, say, an historical accurate reconstruction? Which possibly different kind of education can it offer?
Marly (marly.milena): Creating SymMods is a way for people to manifest their internal fantasies, feelings, ideas etc and then work with the object as though it were a character in a play
Sheila Yoshikawa: you can have conversations about – what “fairy” stories are there in different cultures?
Sheila Yoshikawa: (we have a range of students, mostly not British)
Sheila Yoshikawa: what function do they serve or rather – why do people tell them, pass them on
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): good question Sheila
Sheila Yoshikawa: also the aesthetic angle of a fairy environment
Sheila Yoshikawa: what do people find attractive/frightening etc and why?
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Educators have long known that the arts can contribute to student academic success and emotional well being. The ancient art of storytelling is especially well-suited for student exploration. As a folk art, storytelling is accessible to all ages and abilities. No special equipment beyond the imagination and the power of listening and speaking is needed to create artistic images. As a learning tool, storytelling can encourage students to explore their unique expressiveness and can heighten a student’s ability to communicate thoughts and feelings in an articulate, lucid manner
Kendell (impact0): I very much associate fantasies with myths.
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville):
Marly (marly.milena): Fairy tales are excellent repositories of metaphors for understanding people, situations, ethics, values et al
Beth Ghostraven: not sure if this has been brought up already, but I find fantasy environments incredibly inspiring for creativity
Sheila Yoshikawa: BTW the box on the table has a short notecard and some very old free wings
Sheila Yoshikawa: do you write or tell tales inspired by them? @Beth
Kendell (impact0): A myth (from the Greek μῦθος, mythos, ‘tale’) is a traditional story played by supernatural characters (gods, demigods, monsters) or extraordinary (heroes). Fantasy is a product of the imagination. Something that is not real, but exists only in someone’s dreams or thoughts.
Sheila Yoshikawa: I was at a conference (very small number of people) about fandom – there is such a thing as fandom studies
Sheila Yoshikawa: and that had got fantasy elements people had brought into a physical dull seminar room, glitter, lights, zines, costumes and so forth
Sheila Yoshikawa: that felt stimulating and freeing for the imagination too
Marly (marly.milena): It would be interesting to look at the way we present ourselves and our relationship to fantasy. I have never been drawn to wings and things, tails, fur, blah blah but have tremendous energy for symbolism, metaphor, aesthetics in art, blah blah
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): @thinkerer: in real life I work with mental disabled people and art can be really an expression vehicle
Marly (marly.milena): Art, music, story, dance, each and all conduits for the release of imagination into manifestation
Linn Darkwatch: There’s certainly a lot of that in SL.
Sheila Yoshikawa: I suppose if EVERYONE is wearing wings, it’s not a matter of fantasy any more?
Marly (marly.milena): @Linn, and there are people who never did these things Out There and discover them here! Yay!
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Yes, Peter — role playing (another form of fiction) is used extensively in therapy —
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): well, Sheila, in sl everyone can fly, and it is in fact “normal”
Marly (marly.milena): @Petrvs, so, what do you suppose abnormal behavior would be in this world?
Linn Darkwatch: @Marly – I think SL gives us a great chance to explore safely. But a skwerl or an elf or someone in the 1920s.
Sheila Yoshikawa: though at the moment I don’t think I’m role playing a fairy godmother, I’m me having fun as a fairy godmother whilst doing everyday sorts of things i.e. talking about virtual worlds and education
Sheila Yoshikawa: I suppose that does give me a different perspective on things though, i might say more creative things in wings
Marly (marly.milena): I am interested in people who create Avatars that are completely different from archetypes and what their creative process is!
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): @marly: in this special world I think not much is abnormal, maybe better to call it original or not standard
Kendell (impact0): I see SL as business as well 🙂
Marly (marly.milena): Well, we do have Griefers, Destroyers, forms of Shakti, perhaps?
Sheila Yoshikawa: think I’d agree with Petrus, you get all sorts of behaviour in virtual worlds
Kendell (impact0): art and design and other areas are present in the creation of new worlds
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): AH I love griefers as a material of study
Marly (marly.milena): @Petrvs, do tell what you have discovered!
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): when I find one I start to discuss in IM with him
Sheila Yoshikawa: people who are obsessed with looking physically realistic, people who want to look like boxes, people who want to be themselves, people who want to do things they think are outrageous and here all those things don’t have QUITE the same consequences as in the physical world, though can be harmful
Sheila Yoshikawa: or amazing
Sheila Yoshikawa: ah! @Petrus, reminded of people who start trying to have “serious” exchanges with people trying to dupe them via spam emails
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Petrus what do you find
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): Griefers are not all equal: the motivation can be to “protest” against the system, or simply the impulse to do forbidden things, or sometimes just damage a specific group of people
Marly (marly.milena): Perhaps people who are Griefers in here are releasing energy that they would otherwise use to be destructive in their regular lives? Whaddya think? Or do you think they are that way everywhere?
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Petrus yes varied motives
Kendell (impact0): I dream and see within me many times three-dimensional worlds and futuristic new objects.
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): I have at least 2 griefers in my friend list
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly – again varies? I would think – some people who bring destruction everywhere, others who see it as play, others as an outlet?
Linn Darkwatch: Some think it’s funny to upset people or vandalize. 😦
Marly (marly.milena): @Kendall, do you use your dream images to create art or objects?
Marly (marly.milena): The Jungian view is that whatever is sent in a dream needs to be honored in waking life!
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): some griefers attack few specific avatars, the ones who more suffer for being attacked
Kendell (impact0): I’m here in SL for a short time but I’m currently learning Blender and would like to upload these images to SL
Sheila Yoshikawa: does second life count as waking life @Marly ?
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): other ones want to show their skill in making a land crash, let’s call them the techno griefers
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Kendell that sounds excellent!
Marly (marly.milena): @Kendall, great! Hope you have a lot of fun with that.
Kendell (impact0): one day will happen depends on my future technique of 3d drawing
Marly (marly.milena): @Sheila, it’s certainly part of MY waking life! LOL
Sheila Yoshikawa: lol
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): God bless Blender makers 🙂
Marly (marly.milena): Here’s a question for educators….when can fantasy be contra-indicated for students?
Sheila Yoshikawa: apart from photography, I think my skill is in assembling things to make something meaningful to me (rather than creating things from scratch)
Kendell (impact0): find writers interesting because creativity in writing is identical to art and design
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Marly – some learners might be upset in a way that isn’t developmental or constructive – is that the sort of thing you mean?
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): too much fantasy, usually in little boys, can lower attention and concentration
Marly (marly.milena): I am concerned with the blurring of lines between fantasy and reality like when young people get obsessed with celebrities and can’t make a distinction between actors and their every-day identities. Lots of examples
Beth Ghostraven: it could be counterproductive if a student tried to apply fantasy to medical or military training
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): like dynamite, fantasy is a tool: the danger depends on how you use it
Beth Ghostraven: I’m thinking too of the drivers around here who seem to think they’re living in a Fast and Furious movie
Marly (marly.milena): @Beth–it depends, the greatest strategists and diagnosticians use their imaginations BIG time
Sheila Yoshikawa: though the fandom conference last week, people were talking about being obsessed with e.g. a pop star – but it seemed to be part of them learning to be, so possibly seeming lost badly in fantasy at the time, but could be what they needed at the time?
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Beth argh re medical training – and of course there are still people who now and then manage to slip into the system and practice medicine with no qualifications…
Beth Ghostraven: lol true
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): Salve Q
Sheila Yoshikawa: Hello Quintus
Marly (marly.milena): Remember the old days e.g. Sinatra when singers just stood in front of a mic and sang without all the glam, glitter, noise, etc
QVINTVS PETILIVS SECVNDVS (severusalexander): hello
Beth Ghostraven: Hi Qvintvs
Sheila Yoshikawa: and also scientists – really great scientists – not sure if you would say they are using fantasy, but certainly open minds and creativity to see connections where others wouldn’t
Sheila Yoshikawa: having heard some of them talk on the radio
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): since we started this discussion my mind was going to jules Verne
Beth Ghostraven: the fantasies in science fiction can be an inspiration for real science
Marly (marly.milena): Yes @Sheila. In fact, anyone outstanding in any field has a great aptitude for fantasizing, IMHO
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): exactly
Sheila Yoshikawa: something to remember when people are being stern and serious and anti-frivolity – obviously they just aren’t GOOD enough
Marly (marly.milena): Everything, everything that has ever been created in this world started with someone fantasizing something
Sheila Yoshikawa: I will also throw in – the Fantasy Faire Literacy Festival has been having tours of each sim and encouraging people to write creatively stimulated by the sim
Sheila Yoshikawa: have you done that @Beth?
Marly (marly.milena): I will be doing literary SymMod programs at CVL later ie using builds to create stories, explore characters, come up with plots etc
Beth Ghostraven: I’ve been doing the tours, but haven’t been doing any writing
Sheila Yoshikawa: I think it has to be the right time, sometimes
Beth Ghostraven: wb Melanie
Sheila Yoshikawa: any final fantastical thoughts?
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): a question: is the Tour Eiffel a fantasy object?
Beth Ghostraven: Sheila, thank you for putting out the Fantasy Faire things here
Marly (marly.milena): What a lively discussion today!
Beth Ghostraven: Petrvs, I don’t think so,, it’s an actual physical object
Sheila Yoshikawa: or indeed Notre Dame
Linn Darkwatch cheers Fantasy Faire.
Beth Ghostraven: yes! go there!
Sheila Yoshikawa: they have both been the subject of so many fantasies
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): So a fantasy object dies when it becomes real 😦
Sheila Yoshikawa: in steampunk fantasies, novels, films, virtual worlds, just imaginings
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): a romantic thought
Sheila Yoshikawa: lol petrus, that is saaaaaad
Second Life: Select residents to share with.
Kendell (impact0): I think SL should have the option of using 3D glasses to better visualize
Sheila Yoshikawa: contraiwise, they live on in fantasy when they are destroyed
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): ty for the tp
Beth Ghostraven: I sent you all the teleport HUD for Fantasy Faire, if you’re interested
Kendell (impact0): to better visualize the details of the imagination of the creators of worlds in SL
Sheila Yoshikawa: @Kendell I think you can?
Marly (marly.milena): On to World Dance. Thanks! C U soon!
Kendell (impact0): yes?
Sheila Yoshikawa: they certainly were working on it, but perhaps mainly for Sansar
Kendell (impact0): wow
Sheila Yoshikawa: bye!
Beth Ghostraven:
Petrvs Cornelivs Silvanvs (peter.woody): bye all and ty
Sheila Yoshikawa: you can certainly use it with sansar
Sheila Yoshikawa: yes
Beth Ghostraven: Ossifer Linn goes on duty!
Sheila Yoshikawa: think that’s it for this week
Kendell (impact0): ok
Linn Darkwatch: The Pawcifers are here to help you 🐾
Linn Darkwatch: ♥ Always Trust Your Pawcifers ♥

Pawcifer Linn Darkwatch

Sheila Yoshikawa: ;-)))
ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Bye all
Linn Darkwatch: Nice chatting with you all today. waves
TedWhitecrow: Thank you
Sheila Yoshikawa: thanks all for coming along
TedWhitecrow: Bye All

VWER Meeting Transcripts by Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at

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