VR in academia

Carrozzino, M., and M. Bergamasco. 2010. "Beyond virtual museums: Experiencing immersive virtual reality in real museums." Journal of Cultural Heritage 11 (4): 452-458. doi: 10.1016/j.culher.2010.04.001.


  • The authors discuss the implementation of VR in a growing cultural heritage industry. In doing so, they propose a classification of VR devices based on an 'interaction axis' and one an 'immersion axis'

  • These axes combine into a graph by which they can categorize VR systems comparatively;

  • The systems they discuss are big metal VR environments in different museum settings: the Museum of Pure Form, the Virtual Museum of Sculpture, Virtual Exploration of Turandot stage, and Virtual Livorno. The authors also performed (ad-hoc and somewhat randomized) user-studies (not for each environment) using survey to assess how people experienced these different environments (usually positive, though numbers vary-- see Fig. 3).

  • Targeted audience: youngsters in museums:

    • Meaningful and pleasant experience, learnt in a short time (to prevent learning), and intuitive

    • Some problems: VR is expensive (museums are poor), requires specialist staff for content creation (ibid.), require much space (immersive) or cumbersome (gear), lonely experience (no coop in many VR applications), 'Guggenheim effect': VR becomes more important than museum exhibit

Fig. 1. Classification of VR devices on the interaction axis.

Fig. 2. Classification of VR devices on the immersion axis.

Fig. 3. The presented VR systems in the proposed classification.


  • No particular discussion of software, platform, or hardware specs.

  • Also no clarification as to why these systems were chosen.

  • Overall conclusions were positive on VR side, though nothing on particular combinations of hardware/software. Provide predictions of future tech solving a number of issues mentioned in the abstract (above).