I am speaking at the 45th UKLA International Conference Making Connections: Building Literate Communities in and Beyond the Classroom.
Here’s my abstract – come on along if you are in the UK and interested
Inside the mind of Macbeth: Understanding and interpreting literary worlds in a virtual environment.
University of Sydney
Virtual Macbeth was designed to demonstrate how we might best use the affordances of virtual environments for Education. Shakespeare’s Macbeth reimagined in Second Life provides an adaptive bridge between classic texts and new media technology. In the virtual, the abstract can be made concrete, and complex poesis and abstractions of Shakespeare’s verse can become embodied, elusive, visceral, and affective. The poetic use of metaphor, image and symbol that permeate Shakespeare’s language is brought to 3D life using the online world as a discursive design space where visitors experience the motivations and emotional journey of character, and explore and make personal sense of the universal themes of Shakespeare.
In this presentation I will demonstrate Virtual Macbeth and discuss the way the design of the island allows students to explore aspects of narrative theory, literary criticism, drama theory, gaming theory and digital culture. In particular, I will highlight the deep potential of virtual worlds for immersive, experiential and student-centred learning. I will also explain how Virtual Macbeth is designed for engaging the participatory and co-creative potential of new media – something young people are embracing in out-of-school contexts but yet to be adequately utilised in classroom contexts. Here, students have opportunities to remake, co-create and mash-up Shakespeare, thus participating in cultural exchange, creative expression, online community discourse and educational outcomes.