« It’s not the economy: Peter Coy on how our biases and assumptions affect debates about immigration | Main | Dispatch from the war zone: Kyle Chayka on the effects of using social media to document war »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


I would not like to go to a college in the metaverse because I feel as if it won't be as effective as going to college in person being face to face with a professor who is teaching you about a certain subject. A virtual university would give students the opportunity to attend class without physically being present. Would the experience if one would do virtual reality for science classes which required a number of labs be as efficient as doing in-person? Would it limit our mobility and the things we are able to do in the lab? Would we retain the information the way we should be doing?

Christopher Timberlake

I would try going to school in the metaverse. I think it would be a bigger of a change than we think it is. We would be missing out on face to face communication skills. You would be able to take any course you would like. It would limit like the characters or avatars you can choose. I would want to know the hours and how would work be done. I think it would help people learn what they want to learn but at the cost of face to face communication skills.

Trinidy Jackson

I would want to experience college in the metaverse because it would make school more fun for me and I would feel more motivated to do the work. It can be a distraction for most people but I find it captivating. I would feel more enthusiastic about my work if the class is interesting to me. A virtual reality university would offer people with anxiety the opportunity to focus on their work without interacting with other students. However, it could limit communication between the students and professor. Before making this choice, I would like to know how much I have to pay compared to regular college.

Brayan H.

Nir Eisikovitz, the author of the article, has made some great points about the effects of college taking place in the Metaverse. Some points I’d like to mention that I agree with are, the “Focus” in the virtual reality environment, the “Communication”, and the “Digital Divides”. Focus is highly needed when you are attending college, especially if the idea of college takes place in the Metaverse. As a student myself, it’s already a struggle sometimes to even pay attention in class without having to look at another tab or reply to texts in the middle of class. Communication is another important aspect of college that is required. Being on a virtual reality platform takes away the facial expressions and body language we show in class if we were to argue on a topic, or in generality to show how we feel in class. When I first started my life in college, I had to do a hybrid semester. When I would be at home doing my classes, anyone that presented an argument or a presentation had their cameras off, which removes the expression of the argument or presentation, and since most of us during the first semester had to sit in front of the computer, our body language was removed as well. Now on the other hand when I completed my other classes on campus, the environment was so much more different. Although we were all in a pandemic still and were still required to wear masks, which removed facial expressions, I was able to see the body language students would portray in class whenever we presented. Finally, virtual reality can create a digital divide. Many people across the world are not able to afford to pay for college tuition, and with the idea of having college take place in the Metaverse, educators need to think about how much more accessible this technology will be for other people. Would it lower the costs of attending college? How will this be made available to other students who would like to study for a major? It’s questions like these that we must consider before we move on with the plan of making college life available on a virtual reality platform.

Ryan H.

I would not like to attend a virtual university. There are many reasons I would not want to, many of which are the same points made by Nir Eisikovits in this article. One such reason is the loss of nonverbal means of communication. Nir Eisikovits states that “Engineers have only started thinking about these problems” which is an important step, but even if these concerns are addressed there will always be a limit to a computer's resources. There is a lot of information lost when moving into the virtual world. A computer has a limited amount of resources, so it will sometimes remove “unnecessary” data in order to save on space. In doing so, losing crucial information that, though not visually noticeable, can make the virtual world just feel off. I already have difficulties in socializing in school, so I fear that no matter what, there will always be a divide in knowing that I am just looking into a screen. I feel it would limit how close I could get with my classmates, considering they can change their appearance and voice whenever they want. I will admit that virtual universities could be an amazing tool for those unable to attend a physical university like those with health issues, for example someone with a compromised immune system can safely attend and socialize at a virtual university. However, my fears may be unfounded, as I know many people who have already made deep connections with people in virtual reality. Despite my reluctance to attend a virtual university, I would need to know the cost as well as how such a degree will be valued by employers before I could make a final decision.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

By signing up you agree to W. W. Norton’s
privacy policy and terms of use.

About They Say / I Blog

  • New readings posted monthly, on the same issues that are covered in “They Say / I Say” with Readings—and with a space where readers can comment, and join the conversation.

Follow us on Twitter to get updates about new posts and more! @NortonWrite

Become a Fan