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Are we ‘Beyond being there’ yet?: towards better interweaving epistemic and social aspects of virtual reality conferencing

Lahlou, Saadi ORCID: 0000-0001-8114-7271, Pea, Roy, Heitmayer, Maxi ORCID: 0000-0001-9066-9258, G. Russell, Martha, Schimmelpfennig, Robin, Yamin, Paulius, Everri, Marina, Cordelois, Antoine and P. Dawes, Adelaide (2021) Are we ‘Beyond being there’ yet?: towards better interweaving epistemic and social aspects of virtual reality conferencing. In: CHI EA 2021: Extended Abstracts of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings,462. Association for Computing Machinery. ISBN 9781450380959

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Identification Number: 10.1145/3411763.3451579


Interactive virtual conferencing has become a necessity in adapting to travel reductions during the global pandemic. This paper reports experience with a recent 5-week VR conference with participants from academia and leading industry experts. Drawing on Activity Theory and Installation Theory, a structural grid for virtual conferencing activity analysis is described. We argue that for successful interactive virtual conferencing, the installation must facilitate both the development of knowledge and informal social interaction, the g€epistemic' and the g€relational'. We focus on three specific aspects of the conference activity - onboarding, networking, and intersession transitions - to highlight key issues and illustrate the process of design thinking based on distributed architecture. We discuss lessons learned to inform this fast-growing field: provisions for meaningful social interactions remain underdeveloped in current conferencing systems.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
T Technology > T Technology (General)
Date Deposited: 18 May 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 20:24

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