The Three Pillars of Virtual Reality? Investigating the Roles of Immersion, Presence, and Interactivity

Mütterlein, Joschka
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Virtual reality (VR) technologies enable a new media consumption experience. Although VR’s origins trace back at least to the 1960s, it is still unclear how VR’s postulated key features immersion, presence, and interactivity contribute to that experience. Furthermore, it is unclear whether flow as a construct closely related to immersion offers explanatory power in investigating VR. On the basis of a quantitative survey in a VR center with 294 participants, I analyze the interplay of the key features and exemplify their influence in a VR context by relating them to satisfaction with the VR experience. Using a flow-based conceptualization of immersion, I find that presence as well as interactivity contribute to immersion. In addition, interactivity contributes to presence. Furthermore, my results show that immersion influences satisfaction with a VR experience, indicating that a flow-based conceptualization of immersion is a suitable predictor in VR contexts.
Mixed, Augmented and Virtual Reality, Virtual reality, immersion, presence, interactivity, flow
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