The place metaphor in 3D CVEs: a pedagogical case study of the virtual stage
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This paper outlines a pedagogically-oriented case study of the use of a 3D collaborative virtual environment (3D CVE) to break down barriers between partners from different cultural backgrounds whilst performing collaborative activities on a 3D 'virtual stage'. The 3D collaborative laboratory (3DCollab) described in this paper served as a learning exchange platform to address the need for ICT students to practice collaborating remotely. It facilitated cultural exchange in a risk-free, fun, and informative environment where learning was constructed and played out on virtual stages in a 3D CVE, in the performance of a dramatized version of Plato’s "Allegory of the Cave". Based on the students’ feedback, we discuss how the design features of the virtual stage place metaphor provide a support for educational role-play and socialization.