Exploring digital means to engage visitors with Roman culture: virtual reality vs. tangible interaction

PETRELLI, Daniela and ROBERTS, Andrew (2023). Exploring digital means to engage visitors with Roman culture: virtual reality vs. tangible interaction. Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage.

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Official URL: https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.1145/3625367
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1145/3625367


To effectively communicate the archaeological remains of the distant past is a challenge: little may be left to see, and the culture may be very different to comprehend. This paper compares two technological approaches to communicating Roman archaeology in museums: virtual reality and tangible interaction. Although very different in rationale, design, and implementation, the two explorative studies have the same aim of engaging visitors with important exhibits. The challenge is to effectively communicate the exhibit's original and cultural context. In ‘Views of the Past’ virtual reality was used to support an environmental narrative experience where fragments of history are found scattered in the 3D reconstructed forum of Augustus in Rome. In ‘My Roman Pantheon’, a tangible interactive installation, visitors act as Romans living along Hadrian's Wall making offering to the deities of the Roman pantheon in order to secure their protection. In both explorative studies the combination of the features (virtual reality + narratives, tangible + acting) make visitors feel ‘cultural presence’ where the perception of a place is combined with the awareness of the culture and an understanding of the past. Although they work on very different sensorial reaction (sight for virtual reality, touch for tangible interaction), both are promising mechanisms to design effective visitor's experiences for challenging cultural heritage settings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 08 Information and Computing Sciences; 21 History and Archaeology; 43 History, heritage and archaeology; 46 Information and computing sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1145/3625367
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Apr 2023 10:06
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2023 11:16
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/31750

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