WithFeelVR: the Spatial and Textural Affordances of VR as a Mapping Strategy for an Accessible Digital Musical Instrument

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Abstract

The spatial affordances of VR have frequently been explored for musical purposes in recent years, but the tactile affordances that are becoming increasingly available with current hardware have been relatively underexplored in musical applications. The prevalence of consumer VR systems has created a renewed interest in embodied theories in tangible computing, alongside the imperatives (both moral and practical) for designers of accessible systems to focus on people-centred design methodologies. This paper will explore how the affordances of Virtual Reality (VR), with respect to adaptable mapping strategies, have supported the design of an Accessible Virtual Reality Musical Instrument (AVRMI), whilst also supporting participatory design practices. To begin participatory design processes, it is essential to find common areas of understanding between designer and participants. Within this paper, the authors describe design strategies that explore the spatial and tactile affordances of VR as an embodied framework for the participatory design of an accessible and immersive system for music-making. We conclude by presenting further design iterations resulting from these initial stages.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Computer Music Conference
Place of PublicationUniversity of Limerick, Ireland
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-9845274-9-6
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 14 Jun 2022

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