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Towards a narrative theory of Virtual Reality - page 2 / 26





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  • 1.


    • 1.1

      A need for investigation

Virtual Reality (VR) has now progressed beyond the simple act of technical discovery

towards a valid entertainment medium in its own right. A systematic exploration of

the potentials, possibilities, advantages and constraints of this technology now needs

to be carried out in relation to different types of functionality and application. Given

that VR is of specific interest to the AI community in the domains of Storytelling and

Intelligent Characters, these are particularly relevant areas for research.

Just as narrative in film was originally seen through the lens of narrative in the novel,

so there is a tendency to consider narrative in VR in relation to film or television, or to

even earlier narrative theories. Despite some very influential work based on this

approach [6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13], a thorough investigation of the nature of VR itself

should be conducted in order to identify narrative forms and means of communication

specific to this medium.

1.2 VR as a narrative medium

We argue that VR should be considered as a specific narrative medium alongside

other narrative forms such as Theatre, Literature or Cinema. Each of these presents

particularities that differentiate them from each other and determines their relative

narrative forms, means of communication and displays of content in relation to story.

A story is not told or shown in the same way according to the medium in which it is

displayed, nor is its content or its intensity the same. The very different nature of

media means that a narrative has either to be told or shown in different ways, varying

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