Metaverse and Digital Literacy

2022 FNF-KMMA Special Seminar on "Metaverse Industry, its Users and Digital Literacy"
Group Picture of participants

On November 8th, 2022, FNF Korea held a special seminar on “Metaverse Industry, its Users and Digital Literacy” in cooperation with Korea Media Management Association (KMMA) at Ryse Hotel in Seoul. This seminar aims to present empirical studies on various activities and experiences on Metaverse and to provide a forum to discuss related social phenomena and issues such as digital literacy which has become a central issue due to the rapid development in media technology.

After the welcoming remarks of the Head of KMMA, Jooyeon Park, the seminar kicked off with the presentation of Young June Sah from Sogang University on ‘Virtual humans in the metaverse and actual users in reality’. Sah talked about AI’s social influence on human beings, specifically in art appreciation domain by taking examples of research cases on human perception on AI’s art and AI’s critical comments on art. As the research shows that AI does have social influence on human, Sah pointed out that the advent of AI will reconstruct our perception in many domains and stressed the need to consider AI’s social roles in the future.

Following the first presentation, Changjun Lee from Hanyang University further explored the topic of Metaverse and Virtual Human in his presentation on ‘How Social Capital of Metaverse users affects the Avatar Customization and Presence’. Focused on the concept of ‘avatar’ as a new identity in the virtual world, Lee pointed out that with the recent development of digital and online platforms, the very concept of ‘self’ has been changed from the traditional social-role-based identity into a new concept of multi-persona. In particular, he spoke about avatar customization, identifying factors that influence the avatar-creating process, analysing both physical and characteristic aspects.

The presentation was followed by a lively discussion, moderated by Yoonhyuk Jung from Korea University. The five panellists discussed various aspects of new media environment such as social implications of virtual space and the issue of digital literacy in the rapidly changing and expanding Metaverse. The lively debates ensued, including interesting additions from the audience which raised concerns about social and ethical challenges in metaverse including sexual harassment and cyber bulling and the need to recognize human involvement behind the digital who either develop or use it.