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authors Laurel, B., Strickland, R. and Tow, R.
year 1994
title Placeholder: Landscape and Narrative In Virtual Environments
source ACM Computer Graphics Quarterly Volume 28 Number 2 May
summary The idea of using virtual reality for entertainment purposes is actually quite recent in the history of VR technology. Early VR entertainment applications, appearing in the late 1980s, were extensions of the existing "serious" application of flight simulation training. The other branch of flight - simulator technology - motion platforms used in synchronization with motion video or animation - was much more amenable to the theme park environment. These systems, of which Star Tours is the best known, trade off individual viewpoint control and the sense of agency for thrilling, finely calibrated effects and the optimization of "throughput" - that is, getting the most people through the ride in the least time. Second to motion-platform rides in this regard are networked pods, as used in Virtual World Entertainment systems (previously Battletech). "Classic" virtual reality, with head-mounted displays and various forms of body tracking, are especially problematic in theme park environments for several reasons. It takes time to get the gear onto the participants. Only a handful of people can experience the attraction simultaneously (although a much larger audience might watch what the people "inside" the VR are doing). A hard-driving plot with distinct beginning, middle, and end is a great way to control how long an experience takes, but "classic" VR is inimical to this kind of authorial control - it works best when people can move about and do things in virtual environments in a relatively unconstrained way.
series journal paper
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