The changing face of VR: Pushing the boundaries of experience across multiple industries

Jordan Frith, Michael Saker (Eds.)

by Eryn Parker (City University of London), Jordan Frith (Clemson University), Alicia Corts (Saint Leo University), Leighton Evans (Swansea University), Hannah Greber (University of Vienna, Austria), Rafael Leal (Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Mary Le Rouge (Cleveland Institute of Music), Christopher Maraffi (North Carolina State University), Deepak John Mathew (Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India), Delwyn Jude Remedios (Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India), Mulligan Michael (Cairo Research Center, Egypt), Michał Rzeszewski (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland), Julia Salles (Université de Montréal), Max Schleser (Swinburne University), Bart Simon (Concordia University), Kailan Sindelar (University of North Florida), Jessie Marchessault , Moritz Mihatsch (The British University in Egypt), Michael Saker (City University London)

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Virtual reality is all about experiences––the experience of immersion, the experience of difference, the experience of the new, and the experience of experiencing. Jordan Frith and Michael Saker have curated an expansive set of use-cases through a multidisciplinary examination of VR experiences across industries. From journalism to narrative design to climate systems modeling to theatrical performance, the contributors of this collection have dived into various aspects of experiencing the virtual and critiqued what those experiences mean for our social, ethical, and environmental realities. Of note is the communal and empathic treatment of VR applications in these discussions. Readers can expect critical reviews of the VR experience for social justice, care ethics framework, and humanistic values. These reviews are eye-opening and crucial for the development of VR at a time when the virtual and the real are becoming insatiably indistinguishable.

Prof. Jason Tham
Technical Communication and Rhetoric, Department of English
Texas Tech University

VR occupies an interesting place in the media ecosystem. On the one hand, it is an emerging, ‘cutting-edge’ technology backed by billions of USD by major corporations. On the other hand, VR is older than the World Wide Web and older than social networking sites. After many years of hype and unfulfilled potential, VR is now finally on the precipice of widespread adoption and has begun to be used in novel ways throughout various industries. This edited collection brings together a diverse group of authors to analyse the current state of VR, while recognizing that these many different use-cases will likely become even more important with the increased investment in the technology.

To examine the current state of VR across multiple sites and industries, we compiled a group of practitioners and academics to both examine VR practices and theorize new uses of VR. The book also focuses on an inclusive analysis and includes authors from South America, North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia, and the topics range from analyses of VR use in live events to the ethics of nature-based VR apps to the social practices involved in using public VR at museum exhibits. As we argue in the introduction, this book is one of the first to bring together authors from different backgrounds and disciplines to chart just how widely VR has already spread. And maybe most importantly, the topics covered in this book will only become more relevant as VR continues to grow, especially in the wake of the growth of the supposed Metaverse.

List of figures and tables
Author bios

David P. Parisi
College of Charleston

Chapter 1
Introduction: The winding road of Virtual Reality (VR) development
Jordan Frith
Clemson University
Michael Saker
City University London

Chapter 2
VR storytelling for social justice and the ethics of playing Black bodies
Christopher Maraffi
North Carolina State University

Chapter 3
An embodied poetics: Screenwriting for immersive media
Rafael Leal
Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Chapter 4
Taking stock: VR in journalism
Hannah Greber
University of Vienna, Austria

Chapter 5
Table for Two - A parallel interactive narrative in VR (PIN VR)
Delwyn Jude Remedios
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India
Deepak John Mathew
Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad, India
Max Schleser
Swinburne University

Chapter 6
VR’s growing role in establishing environmental empathy and its potential to model complex climate systems
Mary Le Rouge
Cleveland Institute of Music

Chapter 7
Designing with care ethics in nature-based VR
Kailan Sindelar
University of North Florida

Chapter 8
Being-there when there is not there: Live performance, social VR, and COVID-19
Leighton Evans
Swansea University
Michal Rzeszewski
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland

Chapter 9
The Under Presents: The potential of the real in virtual theatre
Alicia Corts
Saint Leo University

Chapter 10
Curating for communal engagement in VR
Julia Salles
Université de Montréal
Jessie Marchessault
Independent Scholar
Bart Simon
Concordia University

Chapter 11
Exploring the phenomenology of VR-based exhibits in art museums
Eryn Parker
City University of London
Michael Saker
City University London


Dr. Jordan Frith is the Pearce Professor of Professional Communication at Clemson University. His primary research focuses on mobile media and infrastructure. He is the author of 3 books and more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles in a variety of disciplines. His third book – ‘A Billion Little Pieces: RFID and Infrastructures of Identification’ – was published by MIT Press.

Dr. Michael Saker is a Senior Lecturer at City, University of London in the Department of Sociology. His research focuses on the digitalisation of everyday life, digital data, and the social consequences of emerging technologies. He is the co-author of ‘Intergenerational Play’ (Emerald, 2021) and ‘Location-Based Social Media’ (Palgrave, 2017).

Virtual reality, interdisciplinary, digital media studies, museums, live performance, theater, phenomenology, metaverse, environmental communication, user experience, gaming

See also

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

The changing face of VR: Pushing the boundaries of experience across multiple industries





Number of pages


Physical size

236mm x 160mm


2 B&W

Publication date

September 2022