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‘You wouldn’t get that from watching TV!’: Exploring audience responses to virtual reality non-fiction in the home

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/06/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Issue number3
Volume27
Number of pages25
Pages (from-to)805-829
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date30/12/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Consumer virtual reality (VR) headsets (e.g. Oculus Go) have brought VR non-fiction (VRNF) within reach of at-home audiences. However, despite increase in VR hardware sales and enthusiasm for the platform among niche audiences at festivals, mainstream audience interest in VRNF is not yet proven. This is despite a growing body of critically acclaimed VRNF, some of which is freely available. In seeking to understand a lack of engagement with VRNF by mainstream audiences, we need to be aware of challenges relating to the discovery of content and bear in mind the cost, inaccessibility and known limitations of consumer VR technology. However, we also need to set these issues within the context of the wider relationships between technology, society and the media, which have influenced the uptake of new media technologies in the past.