Behind the Curtain of the “Ultimate Empathy Machine": On the Composition of Virtual Reality Nonfiction Experiences

Chris Bevan*, David Green, Harry Farmer, Mandy Rose, Kirsten Cater, Danae Stanton Fraser, Helen Brown

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

2 Citations (Scopus)
354 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Virtual Reality nonfiction (VRNF) is an emerging form of immersive media experience created for consumption using panoramic “Virtual Reality" headsets. VRNF promises nonfiction content producers the potential to create new ways for audiences to experience “the real"; allowing viewers to transition from passive spectators to active participants. Our current project is exploring VRNF through a series of ethnographic and experimental studies. In order to document the content available, we embarked on an analysis of VR documentaries produced to date. In this paper, we present an analysis of a representative sample of 150 VRNF titles released between 2012-2018. We identify and quantify 64 characteristics of the medium over this period, discuss how producers are exploiting the affordances of VR, and shed light on new audience roles. Our findings provide insight into the current state of the art in VRNF and provide a digital resource for other researchers in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781450359702
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 May 2019
Event2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 May 20199 May 2019

Conference

Conference2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2019
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityGlasgow
Period4/05/199/05/19

Keywords

  • Immersive media
  • Interaction
  • Nonfiction
  • Virtual reality

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  • Projects

    Prizes

    ACM / SIGCHI Best of CHI Awards: Honorable Mention

    Bevan, Chris R (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Prizes, Medals, Awards and Grants

    Cite this

    Bevan, C., Green, D., Farmer, H., Rose, M., Cater, K., Stanton Fraser, D., & Brown, H. (2019). Behind the Curtain of the “Ultimate Empathy Machine": On the Composition of Virtual Reality Nonfiction Experiences. In CHI 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems [506] Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). https://doi.org/10.1145/3290605.3300736