For my Digital Artefact I chose to explore Virtual Reality (VR). VR Is something which has drawn my curiosity for a long time as I’ve heard about it but never researched into it properly. VR is a computer-generated simulation of a three dimensional image or environment (Steuer Jonathan,1992, pp. 73). VR is viewed using special electrical equipment which allows for the user to interact in a seemingly real way (Steuer Jonathan,1992, pp. 73). This equipment can take the form of helmets with screens fit inside or gloves fitted with sensors or anything similar (Seth A, Vance & Oliver J, 2010, pp.9). From the start of the research conducted for this assignment, I came to find that there is really no limit to Virtual Reality and how it can be used. Previous uses of the technology can be found in such industries as the adult film world, interior design and gaming (Burdea G & Coiffet P, 2003, pp.15). It was through this research that the concept of Facebook Spaces was uncovered. Facebook Spaces is essentially a Virtual reality version of Facebook, in the sense that users are able to interact in a manufactured interface that mimics reality (Facebook Spaces, 2018). Social Media was something I was not expecting to see to be used in VR. This surprised me as it gave a whole new direction, to where I could envision VR being used in the future, as well as the potential for development within the social media sphere. After this discovery in my research I knew that I wanted this project to have a focus on social media, as then I would be able to contribute to the conceivable progression of social media. VR is essentially a construction or animated version of reality, and so therefore it was this notion upon which this project was based. My lounge room is where I spend the majority of my nights and time on social media, so therefore this became the prime inspiration for my digital artefact. The idea was constructed to create a virtual lounge-room where friends could be invited over without physically entering the room.
With no previous experience using programs to create VR, or even a foundation of knowledge on how to create VR, it was imperative that I researched how I could go about creating this digital artefact. I utilised Youtube as well as Lynda, in order to understand how best this project could be completed. I downloaded the program Unity, which was researched as being the easiest program for novices to utilise. However, even with a background of animation this program was not easy to use or navigate, I could create objects but that was the extent of my ability. Following extensive research into the program I was finally able to operate the program enough to begin to create a virtual lounge-room. I learnt from xyz the best way to navigate the program and how to insert models, and access the pre-set models (Learn Unity, 2018). However, with no formal training the quality of what I created was not to the standard that I initially envisioned, and still found myself struggling with even the basic of tools. The biggest challenge that I came across was rendering as a 360 video, as I couldn’t understand how to stop the program from rendering as a still image per frame rather than a complete video. In order to overcome this, I imported the Unity project file into Cinema 4D (an animation program) which allowed me to render, not a 360 video, but instead a walk through model of my Virtual Reality living-room. The reason that I chose to present my digital artefact in this way, is it demonstrates the capability of VR in the sense that even though I was not able to create a 360 video, I could still create a walk through video of my living room. In this sense I achieved my goal of creating a VR version of my living room, however I am yet to create a virtual space in which my friend’s avatars can visit me without leaving the comfort of their own home.
Virtual reality is still a new concept, one which is constantly developing and evolving, and with further developments in technology, the ease with which VR programs can be accessed and understood is immense. Social media is a platform which houses great potential for VR, in terms of both adoption of the program by society as well as the increase in development. It is imperative to understand the ways in which VR can impact upon social media in order to understand the development of society and in turn how future cultures will evolve.
List of References
Burdea Grigore & Coiffet Philippe, 2003, Virtual Reality Technology, John Wiley and Sons, Australia
Facebook Spaces, 2018, Facebook, viewed 2nd may 2018,
Facebook Spaces, 2017, GameSpot, viewed 2nd may 2018,
How to Preview Your Interior Design in Virtual Reality, 2016, Decorilla,
viewed 4 may 2018,
Learn Unity, 2018, Get Started, viewed 1st May 2018, https://unity3d.com/learn
Seth A, Vance J & Olver J, 2010, Virtual Reality for Assembly Methods Prototyping: A Review, Manufacturing and Construction, vol. 15, no. 1, pp.5-20
Steuer Jonathon, 1992, Defining Virtual Reality: Dimensions Determining Telepresence, Journal of Communication, vol.42, no.4, pp 72-75
The Infinadeck Omnidirectional Treadmill – Smarter Every Day 192 (VR Series),
2018, SmarterEveryDay, viewed 4 may 2018,
Virtual reality, 2018, English Oxford Living Dictionaries, viewed 4 may 2018, https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/virtual_reality