The ‘Elemental Theory of Presence’ is a useful model created by Kent Bye for describing the qualitative elements of a virtual reality experience.

The theory uses the four elements of Natural Philosophy as a framework for describing the different levels of plausibility in virtual reality.

The levels of plausibility as described by Kent Bye are:
Active presence (Fire)
Embodied presence (Earth)
Emotional presence (Water)
Social presence (Air)

Kent Bye's Elemental Theory of Presence


Recommended Listening

Voices of VR by Kent Bye
#502: An Elemental Theory of Presence + Future of AI & Interactive Storytelling
#433: ‘Rick and Morty Simulator’: Making Narratives More Plausible through Interruption