ABSTRACT. Virtual reality (VR) is one of the strongest trends for future communication systems. Considering the amounts of VR devices expected to be produced in the coming years, it is relevant to estimate their potential environmental impacts under certain conditions. For the first time, screening life cycle assessment (LCA) single score results are presented for a contemporary VR headset. The weighted results are dependent much on the source of the gold and the electric power used in production. Theoretically, using recycled gold for the VR subparts would be very beneficial seen from an environmental damage cost standpoint. Using low environmental impact electric power in the final assembly of the VR headset, in the final assembly of integrated circuits, and in the preceding wafer processing would also be worthwhile. Distribution of the final product is more pronounced than for other consumer electronics.
ABSTRACT. Virtual reality (VR) has made its way into mainstream psychological research in the last two decades. This technology, with its unique ability to simulate complex, real situations and contexts, offers researchers unprecedented opportunities to investigate human behavior in well controlled designs in the laboratory. One application of VR is the investigation of pathological processes in mental disorders. Research on the processes underlying threat perception, fear, and exposure therapy has shed light on more general aspects of the relation between perception and emotion. Being by its nature virtual, i.e., simulation of reality, VR strongly relies on the adequate selection of specific perceptual cues to activate emotions. Emotional experiences in turn are related to presence, another important concept in VR, which describes the user’s sense of being in a VR environment. We summarizes current research into perception of fear cues, emotion, and presence, aiming at the identification of the most relevant aspects of emotional experience in VR and their mutual relations. A special focus lies on a series of recent experiments designed to test the relative contribution of perception and conceptual information on fear in VR. This strand of research capitalizes on the dissociation between perception (bottom–up input) and conceptual information (top-down input) that is possible in VR. Recent research has highlighted the mutual influence of presence and fear in VR, but has also traced the limits of our current understanding of this relationship. An interoceptive attribution model of presence is suggested as a first step toward an integrative framework for emotion research in VR.
For learning mediated by new technologies, the response to the likelihood of technological overexposure, with consequent cognitive overload, is inherent in the good practice of design thinking and storytelling applied to instructional design, or in the complex techniques and methods of narratives that provoke knowledge transfer.
This paper gives an overview of the educational potential of virtual worlds and draws on the results of the AVATAR ‘Added value of teaching in a virtual world’, the ST.ART ‘Street Artists in a virtual space’ and the Euroversity projects, all funded with support by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Programme. These action-research projects deal with the technological, pedagogical, cultural and motivational benefits of using virtual worlds in educational settings and provide a framework for the implementation of virtual worlds in education.
The Educational Association Citizens´ Forum SKAF ry is an educational institution for non-formal education. The Citizens’ Forum has been an active Second Life participant since 2007, researching its potential and challenges in educational use and non-governmental organisation activities. The first training sessions were organised in 2008 on a block of land rented from EduFinland I island. Later, ownership was acquired of the Suomi ry (Finland ry) island, which was customised to serve Finnish organisations and non-governmental organisations (further NGO). The Citizens’ Forum’s training courses have covered training in Second Life and the organisation of cooperative meetings and various other events in Second Life. The overall length of training sessions has been one month. Each course has consisted of 3-5. 1.5 hour meetings in Second Life and interim tasks completed either individually or in small groups. In addition to Second Life, Moodle, an online learning environment, has been employed in which tasks, experiences and feedback have been gathered and which has also contained written summaries of what was learned during the Second Life meetings. The Second Life environment has also been regularly utilised in Citizens’ Forum staff and various other work group work related meetings.Funding and ventures 2008: Ministry of Education special funding, Initiation of Second Life courses and construction of environment 2009-2010: ESF programme Open Learning Environments-AVO venture, development and implementation of Second Life educational programmes. This article is based on practical experiences gained from:
– suitability of cooperative educational processes for Second Life
– constructing a Second Life environment for educational use
– suitability of Second Life technology and tools for education and team work
– practical methods related to educational situations.
Article first published in “Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education TOJDE”, V. 12 (2011), n. 3-2, Special Issue on Second Life Applications in Distance Education, Article 3. Reprinted with permission.
In his novel Neuromancer, first published in 1984, the US-american author William Gibson coined the term cyberspace for the virtual reality generated by computers. On the basis of an etymological analysis this term can be interpreted as the traditional relation between helmsman and space. In the medium of sci-fi-literature and sci-fi-film this phenomenon of cyberspace changed rapidly between 1980 and today. In early examples, for instance in the film Tron produced in 1982, the virtual figures act in a disintegrated space without any destination or orientation. In later examples, for instance in the film Matrix produced in 1999, the cyberspace becomes a substitute world for a dark, chaotic or destructive vision of reality. Contemporary forms of cyberspace, as visualized in the 3D-online-city Second Life, are in contrast used for financial activities and symbolize the hard world of economic policy. This development of cyberspace can be seen either as an evolutionary process or a dichotomy primary defined by different facets of space simulation in virtual reality.
Article first published in “Journal of New Frontiers in Spatial Concepts”, V.3 (2011), pp. 56-62, KIT Scientific Publishing, as open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence.