Media influence on expectations of virtual reality

Journal article

Graves, E. 2018. Media influence on expectations of virtual reality. Refractory. 30.
AuthorsGraves, E.

Although virtual reality (VR) technologies like Oculus Rift, Sony PlayStation VR and Samsung Gear VR have only recently become available for consumer use, VR has appeared in fictional works (such as novels and films) since 1964 (Steinicke, 2016). This means the general public have had many years to build up their views of VR and, thus, their expectations of real VR experiences. Since fictional portrayals of science and technology can have a strong impact upon public perceptions of them (Dourish and Bell, 2014), it is worth examining the extent of which fictional portrayals of VR have influenced consumer expectations of VR. Previous research has been carried out about consumer awareness of VR (Futuresource Consulting, 2016; Magid, 2017). However, the literature lacks studies with a focus on how the general public became aware of the technology and how this could impact what they expect from current VR devices. Therefore, using an original qualitative survey, this study seeks to reveal the impact of fictional representations of VR on its consumers.

Results from the online survey of VR users indicate that fictional representations of VR can and do affect consumer opinions and expectations of the technology. However, these effects seem to differ from those highlighted in studies focusing on other related areas such as forensic science. Whereas previous studies found fictional representations of science and technology to cause the public to overestimate the actual technology (Baskin and Sommers, 2010; Schweitzer and Saks, 2007), the majority of participants in this study were impressed with their real-life VR experiences. Thus, VR appears to be an exception in the way fictional representations have affected its consumers.

KeywordsVirtual reality; expectations; consumers; fiction; media influence; head mounted displays; virtual reality; expectations; consumers, fiction; media influence, head mounted displays
Journal citation30
PublisherSwinburne University of Technology
Official URL
Publication dates
Online03 Jul 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited26 Jul 2018
Accepted26 Jul 2017
Accepted author manuscript
Output statusPublished
Permalink -

  • 9
    total views
  • 19
    total downloads
  • 1
    views this month
  • 1
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Representations of virtual reality in UK and US news (2014-2016)
Graves, E. 2017. Representations of virtual reality in UK and US news (2014-2016). Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University Faculty of Arts and Humanities