a feeling of being in and of the virtual world, and the ignoring of physical world distractions
It is the strong illusion of being in a place in spite of the sure knowledge that you are not there.1
Presence is what sells VR.2
2. Kelly, K. (2016) The Inevitable. Penguin. Pg 216.
Presence is an internal psychological construct, so you can’t measure it directly. Maybe you could do some brain monitoring with EEG devices and try to somehow correlate that to a sense of presence. But it’s not something you can just observe naturally in the world. 3
3. Bowman, D. Five Universal Tasks Of 3D User Interfaces. Voices of VR. Podcast.
Presence is something that VR allows, but it’s not automatic. It’s something that you need to create and you need to cultivate within a scene, and certain things enhance presence and certain things hurt presence. Defining the viewer – the nature of the viewer – is something I think needs a certain degree of coherence. That doesn’t mean that the viewer needs to have a very clear definition, but you need to understand who or what the viewer is as you create a piece. Otherwise the viewer is just a camera, and that’s the fastest way to kill presence…4
4. Raphaël, P. “Everything We Do is Experiential:” The Many Innovations of Felix & Paul Studios Voices of VR. Podcast.