Caught Between Real and Virtual Worlds
This chapter describes how we, as HCI practitioners, contributed to the design of a collaborative virtual environment-based simulator. This simulator is to be used by senior maritime professionals to practice and acquire safety-critical skills through simulated training. In the course of this work we encountered a number of unanticipated design and evaluation challenges beyond “simple” usability, though, of course, evaluating the usability of virtual environments is far from simple. The first of these challenges, or tensions, involved the need to exploit the power and possibilities of a collaborative virtual environment to the full against the need to maintain the fidelity of the modelled environment. The second challenge is more subtle, given that a virtual environment can only be an approximation to reality, how approximate should it be, or “how real is real?”.
KeywordsShipping Rubber Smoke
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