Sensory Worlds: Emotional Geography and Human-Centered Design in 360° VR Ethnographic Videos

  • R. Scott WilsonEmail author
Part of the Educational Media and Technology Yearbook book series (EMTY, volume 42)


This chapter assesses the usefulness of 360/VR video production in the creation of student VR videos. With the emergence of 360/VR documentary platforms in narrative and documentary film, empathy and presence are often touted as this format’s unique contribution beyond traditional documentary modes. However, the lack of an established grammar of VR filmmaking has left this worthy goal woefully under-theorized. This chapter explores spatialized storytelling techniques aimed at achieving viewer empathy by employing insights from the fields of emotional geography and human-centered design. How can these insights be employed to produce engaging VR experiences that effectively translate subjective worlds? This chapter argues that presence and empathy can be designed into the production of ethnographic VR experiences as long as they are grounded in an enhanced, collaborative ethnographic preproduction process.


Virtual reality Documentary Ethnography Design Taxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Anthropology DepartmentCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA

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