In this short book, Evans interrogates the implications of VR’s re-emergence into the media mainstream, critiquing the notion of a VR revolution by analysing the development and ownership of VR companies while also exploring the possibilities of immersion in VR and the importance of immersion in the interest and ownership of VR enterprises. He assesses how the ideologies and desires of both computer programmers and major Silicon Valley industries may influence how VR worlds are conceived and experienced by users while also exploring the mechanisms that create the immersive experience that underpins interest in the medium.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The History of VR 3. The VR Business Model 4. VR Worlds, Utopias, and Dystopias 5. Materiality: The Reality and Necessity of the Material Base of VR 6. The Cultural Impact of VR 7. VR Futures: Where We Will Go in the Virtual World
Leighton Evans is Senior Lecturer in Media Theory at Swansea University. He is the author of Locative Social Media: Place in the Digital Age (Palgrave, 2015) and co-author of Location-based Social Media: Space, Time and Identity (Palgrave, 2017).
"In this field-defining, lucidly written book, Leighton Evans draws an authentic, cutting-edge picture of VR experientiality in contrast with other immersive media and opens our eyes to the changes in immersive opportunities afforded by contemporary consumer VR. He presents us with a thoroughly researched genealogy of VR, identifying the specific media-historical moment that has brought about its re-emergence and blending scholarly rigor with refreshing episodes of personal storytelling. The book compellingly embeds its subject matter in the history of digital media more generally, viewed through a sharp, critical lens that reminds us about the commercial dictates under which our hypermediated selves and our technological extensions operate."
-- Astrid Ensslin, University of Alberta, Canada