Trying to Get Trapped in the Past – Exploring the Illusion of Presence in Virtual Drama

  • Georg Struck
  • Ralf Böse
  • Ulrike Spierling
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5334)


This article presents the prototype of a virtual cultural heritage installation that employs dramatic storytelling to give visitors a sense of personal presence in a reconstructed historical situation. A cinematic story is delivered through stereoscopic video and spatial audio featuring human actors in a virtual environment. This ‘light’ version of virtual reality offers a chance to study some mechanisms of immersion available to virtual story designers. The immersive effect of stereoscopic vision and 3D audio is explored and opportunities to heighten the effect through dramatic storytelling are discussed. Trading a realtime perspective for the presence of ‘holographic’ human actors, the installation focuses on the impact of dramatic narrative in an immersive environment. The article suggests that virtual storytelling allows designers to take the spectator’s illusion of personal concern with the proceedings one step further than traditional drama, enabling the spectator to feel personally present and thus ‘physically’ concerned. The opportunities and limitations of this spatially ‘situating’ effect are evaluated in the context of the installation.


Immersion presence drama virtual storytelling virtual cultural heritage stereoscopic video wave field synthesis spatial audio 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Struck
    • 1
  • Ralf Böse
    • 1
  • Ulrike Spierling
    • 2
  1. 1.FH SchmalkaldenUniversity of Applied Sciences, BlechhammerSchmalkaldenGermany
  2. 2.FH ErfurtUniversity of Applied SciencesErfurtGermany

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