University of Twente Student Theses


Developing an Interactive Art Exhibition in Social Virtual Reality

Hauschild, M.A. (2023) Developing an Interactive Art Exhibition in Social Virtual Reality.

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Abstract:Art and history museums provide valuable education for everybody. However, young people are unintentionally excluded from these exhibitions because of the modalities surrounding the visit to such museums. As traditional museums offer exhibitions without components of interactivity and enforce social norms that prohibit unobstructed social interactions, young people tend to stay away. Additionally, young people spend more and more of their time in the digital and online world. To provide a more appealing way for young people to visit art and history exhibitions, this research project proposes an interactive social virtual reality exhibition. The developed interactive experience allows multiple users to experience the art exhibition “HERE: Black in Rembrandt’s Time” together with another person they know. In the virtual version of the exhibition, visitors can pick up three-dimensional models of objects in the paintings. The objects are connected to a quiz interaction that can be triggered by returning the object, allowing visitors to further educate themselves about the topic of the exhibition by completing the quiz questions and reading the subsequent additional information. Users can fully immerse themselves in the virtual exhibition using a head-mounted virtual reality display. Additionally, users are represented in the virtual world using an avatar that resembles their bodily features for higher immersion. To evaluate the interactive experience on user engagement, testing was conducted with a total sample size of 20 participants. To test the impact of the social components, one group of 10 participants tested the experience alone while the other half of the participants tested the experience in pairs. The evaluation was done by using a set of questionnaires and by conducting individual interviews with the participants. Furthermore, the observations made during testing were analysed. The research concludes that the application of virtual reality museums for art exhibitions can increase engagement among young visitors. The addition of a social experience in virtual reality may increase engagement, however, statistically reliable evidence could not be found. Additionally, social interactions appear to help with the understanding of the cultural contents of art exhibitions.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:02 science and culture in general
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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