Entertainment in Virtual Reality and Beyond: The influence of embodiment, co-location, and cognitive distancing on users’ entertainment experience

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Abstract

Recently, virtual reality (VR) has emerged, but a conceptual framework explicating potential foundational pillars of VR entertainment is still missing. The present chapter aims to fill this gap by introducing, based on a review of the related literature, such a conceptual framework. It proposes that the typical VR experience is characterized by the interaction of three core mechanisms or affordances (that, albeit in different constellations and to a different degree, also underlie other media channels), namely a profound sense of embodiment, spatial presence or a sense of physical co-location of other entities and events, and users’ cognitive distancing. It argues that these factors jointly affect the extent users experience VR as immediately self-relevant and consequential. By linking these three foundational pillars of the VR experience to users’ entertainment experience and related research on media entertainment, it derives five propositions about entertainment in VR (and other channels that support these affordances).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Entertainment Theory
EditorsPeter Vorderer, Christoph Klimmt
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Chapter36
ISBN (Electronic)9780190072230
ISBN (Print)9780190072216
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Section III: Models on Entertainment Phenomena Bound to Specific Media or Message Types, chapter 36.

Keywords

  • virtual reality
  • entertainment
  • presence
  • embodiment
  • co-location
  • enjoyment
  • pleasure

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