19
Oct
08

Steur’s “Defining Virtual Reality”

Jonathan Steur
“Defining Virtual Reality: Dimensions Determining Telepresence”
Area: Digital Media

•    Structures need to be established to assess different VR systems
•    Defining VR in terms of human experience, not technical hardware
o    Presence: experience of one’s physical environment
•    “Not as they exist in the physical world, but to the perception of those surroundings as mediated by both automatic and controlled mental processes.”
o    Distal attribution and externalization
•    Forced to perceived 2 environments:
o    Actual
o    Environment via medium (telepresence)
•    Presence = natural perception
•    Telepresence = mediated perception
•    VR = real or simulated environment in which a perceiver experiences telepresence
•    Telepresence is a relationship between an individual who is both a sender and a receiver and on the mediated environment with which one interacts
•    The definition of VR in terms of telepresence provides a conceptual framework in which such newly developed technologies can be expanded in relation to other media technologies
•    “Vividness means the representational riches of a mediated environment as defined by its formal features; that is by the way in which an environment presents information to the senses
o    “Hot” in McLuhan-ese
•    “Interactivity: The extent to which users can participate in modifying the form and content of a mediated environment in real time
o    Three factors: speed (rate); range (number of possibilities); mapping (control, connected action)

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