Through the looking glass: the VR revolution in museums is here

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“Museums have been talking about the potential of Virtual Reality (VR) for a long time but 2021 could be the year the technology finally goes mainstream.”

“The Curious Alice experience is the first time the V&A has used VR in an exhibition. The museum worked with HTC Vive Arts and the immersive game studio Preloaded to produce an experience that sends the player down the book’s famous rabbit hole and into a vividly realised world to take part in a game of hedgehog croquet. Gesture capture technology allows players to handle objects within the virtual world.

Further chapters of the game, which launched online last year, allow players to search for the white rabbit’s missing glove and solve nonsensical riddles set by the hookah-smoking caterpillar.

Based on a series of layered collages created for the exhibition by the Icelandic artist Kristjana Williams – herself inspired by the V&A’s collection of Victorian paper theatres – the game is a glimpse into the promise VR holds as both a tool for artistic creation and a medium for 360-degree storytelling.”

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Geraldine Kendall Adams                                            @Gkendall. (2021, May 21). Through the looking Glass: The VR Revolution in museums is here. Museums Association. https://www.museumsassociation.org/museums-journal/analysis/2021/05/through-the-looking-glass-the-vr-revolution-in-museums-is-here/#

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As VR expands beyond just headsets and Pokemon go, it is an increasingly accessible option for expanding the experience of an exhibit. Flight simulators have also been a popular teaching tool, and source of entertainment, for flight enthusiasts for decades. This opens up whole realms of options for integrated VR systems connecting to multiple locations, melding story telling with experience, and guiding a visitor through a museum experience. While this article has a more abstract VR experience, even a more artistic take on flight could better communicate the excitement or passion of flight to a visitor.