Virtual Reality and Heritage

This refers to the use of virtual reality in museum and historical settings, e.g. visitor centres. These settings employ interaction as a means of communicating information to the general public in new and exciting ways.

There has been a move away from the traditional type of experience associated with museums, galleries and visitor centres. The old model was that of passive engagement in which people viewed the exhibit/s but did not get involved to an experience in which interaction is the main feature.

Interactive displays form a large part of many exhibitions and particularly appeal to children. Children are often difficult to attract to a museum or gallery as they tend to see this as a boring experience. But the use of interactive technologies such as virtual reality has changed that perception and opened up these spaces to a new audience.

Virtual reality heritage sites

Examples of virtual heritage sites include:

  • Monuments
  • Stonehenge
  • Sculptures
  • Caves
  • Historical buildings
  • Archaeological digs
  • Old towns and villages

Virtual reality has been used to construct virtual walkthroughs of these sites which enhances the visitor’s experience.

Plus this is a useful way of challenging attitudes towards heritage sites such as museums and to encourage more people to visit and take part.

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