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A new esports team is representing Hawaiʻi in the Metaverse, 'the next evolution of the internet'

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There’s a new professional sports team representing our state — but it’s not what you might be thinking. The Hawaiian Islands Ocean Dragons is a professional esports team created to play in the Metaverse. If you’re wondering what exactly the “Metaverse” is, so are we. The Conversation sat down with the creator of the team, Oregon-native Justin Lacche to learn more.

Lacche is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. It’s a language his family is familiar with — his grandfather was stationed at Fort Kamehameha on Oʻahu during the 1940s — and learned to speak it. Lacche described what the Metaverse is, how it can potentially benefit Hawaiʻi students — and help preserve the Hawaiian language.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Dec. 15, 2021. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation and host of HPR's This Is Our Hawaiʻi podcast. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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