Bridging physical and virtual ecologies of action: giving and following instructions in co-located VR-gaming sessions

(part of the forthcoming special issue “Understanding technology use in face-to-face interaction”, eds. F. Oloff & J. Råman)



manuaalinen toiminnan ohjaaminen, murtunut ekologia, multimodaalinen keskustelunanalyysi, ohjeet, ohjeistettu toiminta, virtuaalitodellisuus


Using multimodal conversation analysis, this study examines how communicative practices are adapted to the affordances for interaction in co-located encounters where participants are getting acquainted with VR-technology and games. The analysis focuses on instructional activities and investigates how an expert player guides others in learning how to handle VR equipment and getting to know the game mechanics during the initial moments of starting a new game.

The data comprises video-recordings of informal social gatherings of 3-4 young adults who take turns in trying out different VR games. The gaming situations were organized in a temporary game lab using consumer-grade VR equipment, a large screen that displayed video feed from the game console and loudspeakers for the game sound.

The analysis demonstrates how the experienced player who has no direct agency over the virtual world uses verbal and carefully placed tactile means to help novice players (who in turn have restricted access to the material world) navigate the initial stages of entering a game. Their complying actions, on the other hand, are characterized by finely tuned bodily adjustments in interplay with affordances of the technology. The instruction sequences, therefore, represent interactional moments in which the participants mutually attend to asymmetries, orienting to bridging physical and virtual ecologies of action.



2023-10-18 — Päivitetty 2023-11-24