Virtual Reality; As Art, Machine & Media

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Below is an infographic which has been created accordingly with a survey to which I designed to gain insight and opinions of members of society to which interact and consume different forms of media avidly. through a virtual reality filter. This information supports the podcast and research I have conducted showing many perspectives regarding the use of technologies in consuming and engaging with content

The results found were conclusive to my initial hypothesis that because of the technological growth there is now a changed and altered relationship between VR technology, people and information. These outcomes depict both those familiar and foreign to the notion of virtual reality but show little negative opinions about their capabilities and uses for the present and ultimately the future. In an age where multi-screening is an activity that subconsciously unfolds, this sensory activating medium allows the viewer to become one with what is being encountered, where a sense of presence is provided.

Please follow the infographic to find out more:

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Reflection: 

My BCM310 final project revolves around the phenomena and emerging technology of Virtual Reality. It’s application within the world has been stigmatised by it’s firstly recognised incorporation in science fictional media and the Gaming industry. This Digital Artefact alludes to Week 5’s topic of ‘THE OBJECT’ which ethical robots and driverless cars were the focal point. Advancing on from that, I have taken virtual reality as a platform, evolving technology and ultimately a machine to form a deeper understanding of the human mind, mediums as art-forms and it’s effects on society, industries and culture.

Already being familiar with the mode of virtual reality I wanted to expand my understanding of the technology and how it is beginning to revolutionise the world as we know it. I was quite surprised to discover a huge market for immersive experiences that not only trigger immersion on the whole sensory spectrum but also activating those of an emotional scale. The likes of Education and Journalism have been impacted heavily by this mode and are likely to turning point for audiences everywhere regarding traditional media consumption. The line that has separated humans from technology has always been stable and due to immense advancements in the past decade, it has become more fluid. In a sense that virtual reality as a technology has become one big empathy machine for humankind.

The format was a big decision within my work, and because I was concentrating on virtual reality the obvious choice for many would be video format. I decided away from that option as the technology has not become as normalised in society at this very point. I could have easily constructed a 360-degree video that has direct application to Virtual Reality, functioning accordingly to the movement of the responder. But most millennials would not have an odd pair of virtual reality goggles in the drawer…yet. Thus, due to this reasoning I approached the task as a podcast where, in my words, convey my fascination and the huge potential of virtual reality.

I was able to successfully extract information from my own independent research of a designed survey, collecting 20 responses. I believe that this source of quantitative research was necessary in providing first hand evidence for the podcast I composed, where virtual reality was depicted as potentially the foreseeable future’s primary art-form. In regards to the podcast itself many pros and cons were evident in the making. Audio is a very malleable way of expression especially when trying to convey something articulately. I sourced an external microphone which aided in the rise of quality in audio which at times did peak when certain phrases and sounds were made. As the project was purely audio, and myself a perfectionist, the podcast took some time to be complete due to the repetition of segments until it was up to par. I had to make sure that there was a change in voiceover and interesting sound transitions from section to section to ensure the responder could maintain engagement. I believe the podcast medium has allowed me to convey a large amount of information in a more digestible format than a video, website or written report.

Perspective is a fundamental factor within any form of media consumption. Technology such as virtual reality bridges gaps that alter one’s experience and places them in the midst of a situation closer to authenticity. I believe my project conveys a well-rounded information hub that emphasises the impact of this medium not only as a machine but they way one thinks, acts and experiences.

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