Running through the jungle, hunted by an experienced warrior; or flying to the MIT library pavilion; falling in love with a green-haired elf; confronting with a small elevator while fighting against claustrophobia; or manipulating an immaterial triangle in order to understand Pythagoras’ theorem. These are just some few examples of the wide range of experiences that Virtual Reality (VR) can offer us. During last years, VR proved to be an emergent field of research for psychology, and there have been examples of opportunities that VR offers to psychological research and practice: from building “planned experiences”, to re-creating specific simulated social contexts. This chance can be useful in many ways: mainly VR could be a tool to explore human experiences, and, in second instance, virtual environments could be examined by themselves, as a medium, or as a brand new context. This book, with an updated literature review, analyzes the psychosocial dimension of interactions in VR, highlighting the interactional nature of the sense of presence.
Matteo Cantamesse is a social psychologist at the CSRPC (Centro Studi e Ricerche di Psicologia della Comunicazione), of Università Cattolica of Milan. He studies the social processes in mediated environments, both on low- and high-virtuality systems.