Representations of virtual reality in UK and US news (2014-2016)

Graves, E. (2017) Representations of virtual reality in UK and US news (2014-2016). M.A. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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This thesis examines representations of virtual reality (VR) within the UK and US press, focusing on six popular VR devices: Google Cardboard, Samsung Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Sony PlayStation VR and Google Daydream View. As new srepresentations of emerging technologies can strongly influence public opinion about them (Rogers, 2013; Whitton and Maclure; 2015), it is crucial to analyse VR news discourse at this point in time when they have recently become available for consumer use.

Based on a sample of 479 news articles collected from 69 publications (ranging from general news outlets, such as national newspapers, to specialised news outlets, such as those with a focus on technology), a mixed methods approach combining Content Analysis and Discourse Analysis indicates that VR news coverage currently tends to be positive, with some exceptions. On the positive side, VR is commonly represented as revolutionary, exciting, important, immersive, social and advanced high quality technology. Though less common, the negative representations of VR mainly focus on its potential to cause motion sickness and the high cost of the devices.

These findings are similar to those from studies of news articles about other emerging technologies (Lewenstein, Gorss and Radin, 2005), but differ from existing research on fictional representations of VR (Chan, 2014) and on media portrayals of videogames (Williams, 2003; Rogers, 2013; Whitton and Maclure, 2015).

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Media Art and Design
Depositing User: Miss Rosemary Cox
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 10:41
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 11:36

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00