If it was just a random reference, for example, a name mentioned on a math problem, it’s probably not that surprising. Teachers often put cultural references in their questions by using names of celebrities or fictional characters in their problems. However, when Hatsune Miku, the popular digitally-created musician, appeared in Ireland’s exam for students graduating from high school, it was less of a casual reference and more of a full-on exam question about the vocaloid herself:
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As firstpointed out by a thread on ResetEra, the English section of Ireland’s 2021 Leaving Certificate Examination includes two sections on Hatsune Miku. The first tests participants’ comprehension by having them read a short essay on the blue-haired vocaloid’s fame and then answer questions about the text, including, “Would you prefer to attend a concert that featured a real-life performer, like Lady Gaga, or a virtual performer, like Hatsune Miku?”
The exam later tasks students with writing a composition based on a variety of topics, each of which call back to previous parts of the test. The prompt referring to Hatsune Miku basically amounts to fanfiction, asking participants to compose a story about the artificial singer breaking free from her digital confines and escaping into the real world. After seeing how some folks react to Hatsune Miku online, I probably would have included some restrictions on explicit content here if I were the one putting these tests together for the Irish government, but alas.
Image courtesy of Crypton Future Media, Inc. via Miku Expo