Nostalgia in Virtual Reality

Authors: Linnea Saltin*,
Topics: Behavioral Geography, Geographic Thought
Keywords: Virtual places, virtual geography, nostalgia, déjà vu, ethnography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:45 PM
Room: Roosevelt 7, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Virtual possibilities allows for new interpretations of place. From a phenomenological standpoint understanding the virtualities emerging in Virtual Reality, VR , and it’s effects on our corporeal understanding of placed experience provides for questioning our understanding or place as a key concept in geography. Looking to media history, new technology provides for promises to connect the world in ways to solve social problems. The disrupting of distance is imagined to provide for understanding, and understanding for social change. This paper aims to explore ethnographic methodologies working with the production process of virtually reproduced places, and to study the recreation of places where they are used to make people recognize problems. Where the presumption of that placing someone leads to experience and that experience leads to understanding and understanding leads to change. As VR is spreading to become more accessible, this opens doors for NGOs and organizations to promote their causes through VR. As for working with virtually reproducing places; historically lost but recreated ones, or recreated for the purpose of being removed from their location, it becomes a process of knowledge of place as well as knowledge if experience. Methodologically entering the reproducing process of place I suggest working with the concept of nostalgia. Though VR might be new, the place creating process is not, and within the process of producing place we turn to what we know. Producers making users to recognize place as familiarly strange production is reaching for a déjà vu of users.

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