VRtefacts uses a combination of subtle techniques that can lead to fascinating, heartfelt, and insightful stories:
1. The visitor’s experience is led by two trained individuals who use carefully scripted techniques to lead visitors who might be intimidated by the prospect of being recorded to a point where they can comfortably give a coherent, personal response to the object.
2. Part of this transition is made possible by a camera and lights that exist solely in the VR environment. These contribute to a sense of significance that can enable the positive elements of storytelling without generating stage fright.
3. The manipulation of scale and substance in creating 3D prints allows for closer connections and new insights, especially for objects that visitors must keep their distance from for one reason or another.
4. 3D scans can be used instead of or alongside 3D prints. 3D scans without 3D prints are scaled to fit within an (actual) acrylic vitrine, affording many of the same types of interaction as the 3D prints.
5. VR has enough of a novelty factor to entice the curious, while the combination of storytelling and VR is still unusual enough to be at least somewhat novel even for those with years of experience.
VRtefacts is a flexible concept. The project can be reworked in any number of ways to suit different needs. Contact jocelyn.spence [at] nottingham.ac.uk if you have any questions – we are always happy to explore new ways to develop it!