Media influence on expectations of virtual reality

Kaylee Graves, E. (2018) Media influence on expectations of virtual reality. Refractory, 30. ISSN 1447-4905.

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Although virtual reality (VR) technologies like Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR and Samsung Gear VR have only recently become available for consumer use, VR has appeared in fictional works (such as novels and films) since 1964 (Steinicke, 2016). This means the general public have had many years to build up their views of VR and, thus, their expectations of real VR experiences. Since fictional portrayals of science and technology can have a strong impact upon public perceptions of them (Dourish and Bell, 2014), it is worth examining the extent of which fictional portrayals of VR have influenced consumer expectations of VR. Previous research has been carried out about consumer awareness of VR (Futuresource Consulting, 2016; Magid, 2017). However, the literature lacks studies with a focus on how the general public became aware of the technology and how this could impact what they expect from current VR devices. Therefore, using an original qualitative survey, this study seeks to reveal the impact of fictional representations of VR on its consumers.

Results from the online survey of VR users indicate that fictional representations of VR can and do affect consumer opinions and expectations of the technology. However, these effects seem to differ from those highlighted in studies focusing on other related areas such as forensic science. Whereas previous studies found fictional representations of science and technology to cause the public to overestimate the actual technology (Baskin and Sommers, 2010; Schweitzer and Saks, 2007), the majority of participants in this study were impressed with their real-life VR experiences. Thus, VR appears to be an exception in the way fictional representations have affected its consumers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Virtual reality; expectations; consumers; fiction; media influence; head mounted displays; virtual reality; expectations; consumers, fiction; media influence, head mounted displays
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5410 Marketing. Distribution of products > HF5415.32 Consumer behavior
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Media Art and Design
Depositing User: Emma Graves
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2018 13:31
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2018 08:46

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