Many flavors of contemporary virtuality... intense and immersive to mild and social
What is it about?
Virtual worlds are conventionally understood as imagined places and alternate realities. With new hyperlinked technologies such as social media sites and augmented reality devices virtuality should also be understood as a process, or the means by which virtualization is realized. Employing theorizations of Baudrillard and Virilio, this paper sheds light on practices such as transmediation and information management at the dawning of the age of Big Data.
Why is it important?
This article owes a lot to the four special issues editors, but especially to Professor Mike Saren of Leicester University, who kept urging the authors to develop a clear and insightful generic view of virtual reality and indeed of "virtuality" in the contemporary era. Also important is the influence of special issue editors Janet Ward and Alladi Venkatesh, who provided continued inspiration.
Dr Nikhilesh DholakiaUniversity of Rhode Island
Ian Reyes and I are coming around to the view that the new trends in communication technologies -- virtuality, sociality, mobility, and more -- are parts of the larger evolving canvas of melding and interfusing "transmedia". Although media theorists have talked about these issues, the impacts on marketscapes, consumptionscapes, and indeed lifescapes are barely understood. We hope to continue to explore these emerging edges.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia
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Another persona of Ian Reyes - as Radio Show Host
Ian Reyes, coauthor of this article, is a multi-talented personality... including a radio show host at the University of Rhode Island (URI).
Incisive Insights for Info Age... from Mike Saren
If you found this article of interest, you will certainly enjoy the very insightful views of Professor Mike Saren on Info Age markets and consumption phenomena.
URI Tech/Markets Pioneer: Ruby Roy Dholakia
Starting from the mid-1980s, a strong, varied and insightful stream of research has developed under the direction of Professor Ruby Roy Dholakia at the University of Rhode Island (URI), examining multiple aspects of Telecom, E-Commerce, M-Commerce, Social Media, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Smart Homes, Internet of Things, and many related aspects of technology-induced changes in markets and consumer behaviors.
Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift: the Virtual and Social interactions get media attention
Facebook acquisition of Oculus Rift, a truly fledgling startup but with a very powerful VR eye-device, got all the media talking about the Virtual and Social interactions.
Baudrillard - A Prescient Observer of Virtuality
The online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is one the best places on the Web to find detailed, well-documented, and expertly interpreted information on philosophy-oriented issues, ideas and people. This detailed SEP essay is on Jean Baudrillard, and provides an excellent introduction to Baudrillard’s works on postmodernism, including his very prescient early views of virtuality.
Cutting Edge VR Blog Site
This site covers tech per se as well as interesting commentaries on tech.
HuffPost weighs in on VR
This HuffPost article talks of 2014 here-and-now applications of VR.
Paul Virilio and the Hypermodern
In this JMM article, we invoked Baudrillard as well as Virilio. This article linked here, from CTheory, is a good starting point to the stimulating intellectual output of Paul Virilio.
Fountainhead: Pioneering research into technology, markets, consumers at URI
From mid-1980s, under the skilled leadership of Dr. Ruby Roy Dholakia (with Dr. Nikhilesh Dholakia) at the University of Rhode Island (URI), a strong and innovative program of research on technology, markets and consumers has been producing highly insightful research on a range of social, psychological, cultural, organizational and political aspects of information technologies. Explore the scope and depth of such research via the Google Scholar portal of Ruby Roy Dholakia.
Virtuality's cousins - Mobilty and Ubiquity: Insights from Syagnik 'Sy' Banerjee and Ruby Roy Dholakia
The patterns of virtuality are being constantly shaped and reshaped by ubiquitous computing, internet shopping patterns, mobile advertising, mobile communications, data-analytic targeting, device and network innovation, online shopping, e–shopping, electronic shopping, and wireless internet. This paper is a pioneering and insightful study of these changes.
CTheory... a well-established resource on cultural aspects of technology
This resource, from Arthur Kroker and his scholarly associates, is a must read for those interested in the topic of this paper.
Ruby Roy Dholakia: Pioneering research scholar in mobility, mobile communications, mobile commerce
This introductory piece indicates the very early focus on mobile technology, mobile communications, and mobile commerce; in the research endeavors launched at the University of Rhode Island (URI) by Ruby Roy Dholakia and her globally associated research network. For more samples of work done by her and her associates, please search for "Ruby Roy Dholakia" in Google Scholar.
Digital Meets Culture
A site to keep track of VR and digital tech in the cultural sphere.
Jeremy Bailenson: A vision of a virtual reality (VR) future
Quote from this site: "As a scholar who has spent his career working at the intersecting frontiers of social psychology and virtual reality, Bailenson has emerged as the go-to guide to this new world. And the psychology is every bit as important as the technology."
Four Decades of Virtual Reality (VR)
A retrospective, but with an eye to the future...
A classic piece: Virtuality, Immersion, Interactivity, Literary Theory
A real pioneering look, from the humanities.
Virtuality and Physicality in Retail: McKinsey article/report
Physicality and virtuality are colliding strongly in retail settings. From the McKinsey piece: "To position themselves for success in a multichannel world, retailers would do well to take a disciplined approach that begins with a reassessment of the role of the physical store. We recommend a five-step approach..."
Virtuality and Physicality in Retail: Pioneering Study led by Ruby Roy Dholakia
The e-world and virtuality had barely begun to impact retailing when this study was done... but it did point out to challenges ahead.
Curated Travel, Curated Shopping: A New E-Biz+Physical-Biz model
Reviewing, recommending and sharing are popular online activities that shape platforms, social sites, and merchant sites. This venture illustrates a new twist that combines e-biz and physical travel and tourism. It uses the approach of curated selection and presentation of sights, activities, places, happenings, merchants and products.
Becoming Virtual: Early classic by Pierre Levy
An early (1998) look at the social-cultural-political issues of "becoming virtual"...
Yale University Library: Resource guide on Virtual Worlds
Databases, suggested search terms, and more...
Is sex always the 'killer app' to popularize new tech?
From photography to cinema to VCR, sex has usually been the first 'killer app' that popularizes new technologies... for VR devices, this also seems to be the case.
Icons of Virtuality Studies: Joshua Meyrowitz
The book "No Sense of Place" is a classic.
Icons of Virtuality Studies: Marshall McLuhan
This prescient scholar left an incredible legacy of work on media and virtuality.
Icons of Virtuality Studies: Howard Rheingold
Imagine the perspicacity of this book: published in 1992.
Contemporary VR Classic: Blascovich & Bailenson
“Enough with speculation about our digital future. Infinite Reality is the straight dope on what is and isn’t happening to us right now, from two of the only scientists working on the boundaries between real life and its virtual extensions.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed
Year of Immersive VR: DW View
German news site DW on how 2016 is shaping up to be the year of immersive VR.
China: Virtual goods, economy
Historical view of virtual goods-economy in China, in open access journal #MGDR
Kerrigan & Hart: Digital Personhood
The link is to the downloadable paper by Finola Kerrigan & Andrew Hart on emerging types of virtual and digital persona, so widely observable in social media spaces.
Kerrigan & Hart: Digital Personhood video material
Video material to supplement the Kerrigan & Hart paper.