A multi-perspective view on immersive virtual environments (IVEs)
In recent years, the presence of immersive virtual reality (VR) in everyday life has increased, and VR is also being studied in research. However, this research is essentially limited to technical issues, while the social relevance of VR remains largely unconsidered. Current social science research on VR remains bound to an empiricist paradigm; a theoretical framing is only done in exceptions. This article presents current social science theories related to space and landscape research, describes their application and potentials, with regard to the investigation of virtual spaces, and discusses which theoretical positions are suitable for the investigation of particular immersive VR-related questions. This investigation presents a range of approaches such as essentialism, positivism, and constructivism; theories such as critical, conflict, and discourse; and more-than-representational theories such as Phenomenology, Assemblage, and Actor-Network-Theory.