Fear of Virtual Reality: Theoretical Case Study on Photography

By Qianhui Bian and Kin Wai Michael Siu.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Virtual Reality (VR) has absorbed a great deal of attention in new media research. However, it is not always welcomed, especially with respect to the odd experience of dealing with the virtual world it provides. This paper is an attempt to understand the fear of VR by taking photography as a parameter. By discussing the importance of materiality in visual communications, photography’s taking process and VR’s making process, and two types of realities (i.e. the indexical and the simulacral) provided by photography and VR respectively, this paper analyzes the reason for the fear that VR has aroused, and suggests a critical though tolerant attitude towards VR and photography.

Keywords: Virtual Reality (VR), Photography, Fear, Image, Media

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp.87-98. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 532.905KB).

Qianhui Bian

School of Design, Nanjing Arts Institute, Nanjing, China

Dr. Qianhui Bian is now working at the School of Design, Nanjing Arts Institute. During the preparation of the paper, she was a PhD candidate of the Central Academy of Fine Arts and Research Assistant of the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Prof. Kin Wai Michael Siu

Professor, School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hunghom, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Kin Wai Michael Siu is Professor of the School of Design, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He was Fulbright Scholar of the MIT and ASIA Fellow of the National University of Singapore. He has served the Hong Kong Government's advisory committees and professional bodies as members. His research interests are in design and culture, public design, and user-reception.