How augmented reality and virtual reality are taking their places in contemporary media culture alongside film and television.
This book positions augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) firmly in contemporary media culture. The authors view AR and VR not as the latest hyped technologies but as media—the latest in a series of what they term “reality media,” taking their place alongside film and television. Reality media inserts a layer of media between us and our perception of the world; AR and VR do not replace reality but refashion a reality for us. Each reality medium mediates and remediates; each offers a new representation that we implicitly compare to our experience of the world in itself but also through other media.
The authors show that as forms of reality media emerge, they not only chart a future path for media culture, but also redefine media past. With AR and VR in mind, then, we can recognize their precursors in eighteenth-century panoramas and the Broadway lights of the 1930s. A digital version of Reality Media, available through the book's website, invites readers to visit a series of virtual rooms featuring interactivity, 3-D models, videos, images, and texts that explore the themes of the book.
“It's interesting that we still need the old medium of text to help interpret the new, but Bolter, Engberg, and MacIntyre's new book is a great example of why. Reality Media is an excellent tour of virtual reality and its kin.”
Jaron Lanier, author of Dawn of the New Everything: Encounters with Reality and Virtual Reality
“What roles will AR and VR play in our lives? Reality Media provides a fascinating answer by analyzing these forms as media that are intimately influencing, and influenced by, the other media with which they coexist.”
Steven K. Feiner, Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University; coauthor of Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice