Want Social Norms? 9-Steps to Building a Strong Culture (Part 2)

Jessica Outlaw
Jul 2 · 4 min read

It’s easier than programming AI moderators

Common symbols from graduations: red carpet, flags, caps & gowns. The diploma is an artifact. (Image by Chelsea Audibert on Unsplash)



Symbols are powerful tools that can indicate status, roles, mystical properties, cultural differences, belonging, and more.

Image Credit: High Fidelity


Artifacts are typically collected by users, either by doing a physical or a digital act. For example, Super Mario collects gold coins, mushrooms, flowers, and stars and he is changed by each of them. Each of them could be considered artifacts.

If Mario doesn’t play a level, he cannot access any artifacts.
  • What physical or digital experiences must users undergo to acquire artifacts? Are those acts consistent with the culture you aspire to have?
  • What is for sale in stores run by social VR platforms? What can only be acquired by experience?
  • What do your symbols and artifacts tell you about what is sacred? And what’s taboo? What’s funny?

Jessica Outlaw

Written by

Culture, Behavior, and Virtual Reality @theextendedmind