Welcome back! Today we will be covering on another area of discipline of New Media Art – Virtual Art. If you had ever done sort of a research before regarding this aspect on the net, chances are you’d receive plentiful of “out-of-the-world” beautiful images and very few information (about what virtual art is and its history etc…). I tried to look for definitions of virtual art and guess what I’ve got? After sieving through all the unwanted info, I can only say that there’s only one pathetic definition from Wikipedia that sounds logical. Here it goes: Virtual art is art practice using Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality as a medium.
Frankly speaking, I don’t really find that the definition’s a good one. The word “virtual” has been used throughout and this defeats the purpose of explaining what “virtual art” means (this applies more to less IT-savvy people). Therefore, I shall bring in the definitions of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality to make this explanation more explicit.
Virtual Reality (VR) is actually a technology that allows users to interact with a computer-simulated environment, whether that environment is a simulation of the real world or an imaginary world. This should sound more sane to gamers. Gamers play their 3D video games using the computer, XBox, PSP etc… By doing so, they are interacting with a world that does not exist in actual fact but only “exists” thanks to the development of Information Technology. We can also say that Virtual Reality is like a fake reality although it sounds crazy to say that something is real when it’s actually fake, haha!
Next, augmented reality. This combines the real world and virtual reality, where computer graphics objects are blended into real footage in real time. We actually hardly get games using augmented reality. I guess it wouldn’t be as exciting games that add in a little fantasy here and there to spice up the whole content. Well, probably museum use augmented reality to re-enact the histories of their countries. With the help of technology, museums may get people to produce 3D historical characters (real character of the history) to tell a story of the countries’ history. Here’s an example:
Lastly, we look at mixed reality. Mixed reality merges both virtual reality and augmented reality. This implies that mixed reality contains both facts and imaginations. Games such as Dynasty Warriors and Age of Empires are using augmented reality. Dynasty Warriors uses the true background history of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and then adds in some fantasy to spice up the content. Same goes to Age of Empires. It uses the true history of various empires and adds in some creativity to make the game more fun for gamers.
We can now conclude that that Virtual Art is a form of art that uses technology to bring in imaginations and creativity of people to the art. This then adds another level of depth to the original definition of conventional art.
If you would like to share about your knowledge on Virtual Art, please do so by keying in your comments. Please also give your honest feedback on this post. Thank you!