Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
A symbolic world: We can also use symbolic representations to improve the under-
standing of the simulated world. Virtual reality is then used either to represent a
phenomenon (structure of molecules, flow of fluids, etc.) or to add symbolic concepts
to the simulated real world.
These concepts help the user to have a better mental representation of his
environment. For example:
Information can be displayed in diagrams to help the user understand the structure
of a mechanism or the plan of a task to be completed.
The potential of a danger can be represented simply by changing the colour of the
objects to red.
An imaginary world : Virtuality is used to create an unreal world, a figment of
imagination of an artist or a science-fiction writer. In this case, the created world does
not have to be a simulation of the real world, particularly with respect to laws related
to virtual entities.
Finally, the reader must remember that one must not talk about a “degree of
realism'', since this term assumes that the best virtual is identical to the real and that
the only ambition of virtual reality is to try to be the best copy of the real. There
are certainly different ways of using the potentials of virtual reality; the three cases
can obviously be associated to a single application. The designer of the virtual reality
device must ask himself yet another question. This question is about the boundary
between the virtually simulated world and the real world to which the user belongs.
At the time of designing a virtual reality device, the analysis of the application must
help to determine the boundary between the real and virtual worlds. For example, in a
transport simulator, the driver's cabin is often the entire real physical model or a part
of it. For aesthetic study of a dashboard, the dashboard is virtual, and the steering
wheel can be real or virtual.
1.1.2.3 Functional def inition
In 1995, Fuchs proposed a taxonomy based on “theoretical'' functions: Vis-à-vis his
own perception of the reality, man has conceptualised the notions of time and space
on which he can interact only as per the immutable physical laws.
Virtual reality will help him to come out of the physical reality to virtually change
time , place and (or) the type of interaction : interaction with an environment
simulating the reality or interaction with an imaginary or symbolic world.
This definition refers to the opposite demand of the authors of tragedies of the XVII
century, who advocated the rule of three units - time, place and action. This approach
makes it possible to create a functional taxonomy of virtual reality applications using
the combination of these three functions.
1.1.2.4 Technical def inition
A more technical and literal definition of virtual reality attempts to characterise the
domain in one compact and sufficiently consensual sentence so that the practitioners
of the domain can relate to it.
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