Virtual Reality Articles

Virtual Reality


on Medium

Thomas Nickel, Ph.D.

San Francisco, CA; Orcas Island, WA; Seattle, WA; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Siem Reap, Cambodia

Attention: This is the Captain Speaking

September, 6, 2018

When the Commander of the Starship Enterprise says, ‘be careful,’ we should listen.

But no one is listening and VR is slowly but surely entering the culture without significant restrictions so far.

Oculus/Facebook & VR for Good

August 26, 2018

Oculus knows what Good is and released three VR Experiences to help do it. The VR pieces let us be with a transgender person, a gender fluid person, and a former white supremacist, which might be Good.

VR Isn’t What You Think It Is

August 23, 2018

VR’s super power isn’t some new kind of 3D fx — it’s the power to make us feel like we are present with others even when we are not physically together.

If we can learn how to use this power, we may be able to talk with each other better across the tribal lines that divide us.

VR Salon II

August 20, 2018

Testing small group methods in Social VR spaces as a warm-up for larger group conversations to be held probably in a different environment — Salon may be a moving event

VR Salon

August 9, 2018

I am learning, along with others, how to talk and listen better. We think VR could be conducive to conversation. How do you do it?

Pre-tests are underway.

Oculus Go for Old People Part IV

August 2, 2018

I don’t expect to relax and observe the unfolding of a narrative, not all the time anyway. But I also don’t want to face a big personal challenge on my way to an ending

Oculus Go for Old People Part III

July 27, 2018

VTime can work. There is always the potential of an interesting conversation with strangers; the cost of not-finding a good one is low.

Visual cues that might affect interaction by indicating age, ethnicity, gender are suppressed, but audio cues matter. Your voice, which may be misleading, is how others will make inferences about who you are.

Oculus Go for Old People Part II

July16, 2018

No one really knows how our social behavior will be influenced by virtual environments.

So far, it looks like we extend our own sense of ‘being there’ easily to others in VR, especially when we interact or work together on something. It doesn’t take much to create a sense of shared presence.

Oculus Go for Old People Part I

June 28, 2018

The Go was born into an on-going stream of culture and technology. Most of what you can play on it or experience with it was made for an earlier generation of hardware. That will soon change.

What stands out for me at this moment is a handful sources. Some produce content while others aggregate as high-level sources and early gatekeepers.

Week One, Oculus Go

May 18, 2018

The main categories for non-gamers that are well-supported on the Go are 360 Videos and Social VR. Since my main goal is to play 360 videos in social VR spaces, it’s the perfect headset for me, at least for right now.

The 360 Video Path to VR

December 22, 2017

If you think the defining characteristic of VR is not Interactivity, but Immersiveness, then 360 video is definitely over the threshold that can produce a feeling of Presence, of Being There.

Inventing the 360Cast

December 2, 2017

I think I invented the 360Cast here in Phnom Penh. I’m in Cambodia now to make 360 VR Video, and the idea came to me to interview people in 360 degrees, so anyone experiencing it later could take in the whole scene — interviewer, subject, and place. They have been popular when I show them back home.

You Want to Make a Difference? Go to Cambodia, (or someplace like it)

April 28, 2017

I recently traveled around Cambodia with two complete 360 degree video set-ups, recording famous places like Angkor Wat as well as everyday life in the cities and the villages and the open countryside.



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