ERIC Number: ED370586
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Avatars, Affordances, and Interfaces: Virtual Reality Tools for Learning.
Virtual reality technology offers the promise of interaction with a computer-based environment that engages visual, auditory, and tactile perception. Three interrelated virtual reality design topics are particularly relevant to visual literacy. The first is the concept of avatars. Avatars are agents that appear in a virtual world representing the user. The second design topic is affordances. According to the theory of ecological psychology of J. J. Gibson, affordances are the distinctive features of a thing that help distinguish it from other things that it is not. As such, they provide strong clues to the operations of things. The third design topic is interfaces. Interfaces for both input and output link the user to the virtual world that exists only digitally. Examples are given of the use of each of these design topics in curent computer games and in the science fiction novel "Snow Crash" (N. Stephenson). These interrelated topics must be considered by designers who explore the potential of the new medium. (Contains 13 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Digital Imagery; Virtual Reality
Note: In: Visual Literacy in the Digital Age: Selected Readings from the Annual Conference of the International Visual Literacy Association (25th, Rochester, New York, October 13-17, 1993); see IR 055 055.