Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title IMMERSIVE MEDIA AND VIRTUAL WORLDS A
Code COMM210
Coordinator Dr P Ruffino
Communication and Media
P.Ruffino@liverpool.ac.uk
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2019-20 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 30

Aims

T o introduce students to the histories of immersive media and virtual world forms. To introduce students to theories and conceptual approaches to immersion, digital realism, cognition and simulation. To encourage students to develop advanced textual analysis skills in relation to virtual images. To encourage students to widen their knowledge and understanding of the industry contexts in which immersive experience and virtual worlds are produced and consumed.


Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the histories and theories of immersive experiences and virtual realities and worlds.

(LO2) Students will demonstrate the capacity to develop critical insight and textual analysis skills of virtual reality texts.

(LO3) Students will demonstrate the ability to use appropriate and accurate terminology and concepts when explaining immersive and virtual reality technologies.

(LO4) Students will demonstrate an understanding of the industrial and entertainment contexts around, and uses of, immersive experiences and virtual realities.

(S1) Problem solving skills.

(S2) Commercial awareness.

(S3) Teamwork.

(S4) Organisational skills.

(S5) Communication skills.

(S6) International awareness.


Syllabus

 

The module will be structured in two thematic blocks. Each block will include a local or regional field trip, for example, to an IMAX cinema, a digital film installation, or a virtual reality studio. [1] HISTORIES AND THEORIES The first block will introduce the foundational histories and theories of the moving image forms, in particular video games and cinema, related to immersive experiences and virtual realities and worlds. The module will begin with some of the key theories of reality, simulation, the virtual, and the digital and will go on to look at the development of the forms and genres most related to virtual production and immersive experience. Students will also develop skills in the textual analysis of virtual images and the theorisation of immersion that will include the ‘hands-on’ experience of digital technologies, for example, VR.  Indicative topic areas include the history of special effects, CGI, VR (virtual reality) and augmented reality, a nimation, cognitive theory, immersion, affect, and eye-tracking technology. [2] INDUSTRY AND ENTERTAINMENT More than simply technology, theory, and experience, Immersive Media and Virtual Worlds is also an entertainment business that range from theme parks, to video game console wars, the military entertainment complex and media convergence. In short, virtuality and immersiveness are not just experiences they are also businesses and related to industries such as Hollywood, Microsoft, and Sony. This second block will focus on industry case studies in video games and cinema. Indicative topic areas include Disney (from theme parks to virtual reality), the AAA video game industry, the exhibition and distribution of immersive media, global film industries’ adoption of virtual reality, marketing of ‘immersive experiences’, video game genres and their evolution/adaptation from cinematic form, institutional use of ‘serious gaming’ media for training, and the heritage industry’s use of immersive art and augmented realities for community engagement.


Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: 60 minute lecture that will introduce weekly topics.
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Lectures are the key teaching method to introduce histories, theories, debates, and case studies in immersive media and virtual worlds. Unscheduled hours include directed reading.
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): 20

Teaching Method 2 - Field Work
Description: 2 x field trips to contextualise the two conceptual blocks
Attendance Recorded: No
Notes: These field trips allow students to experience virtual and immersive media in an appropriate exhibition and technologically enabled spaces, such as an IMAX cinema, Virtual Reality Arcade and/or local digital media production company.
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): 6

Teaching Method 3 - Workshop
D escription: 10 x three-hour interactive workshops, including a range of activities to consolidate the learning encountered in the lectures and field trips.
Attendance Recorded: No
Notes: These workshops will combine traditional conceptual discussion based around key academic scholarship, with practical experience of immersive and virtual media including film, VR and gaming screenings/ sessions, and study skills preparation for assignments, including group work. One session will also provide the space for Assessment Two, the group presentation.
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): 20


Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 10

      6

30

20

6

20

92
Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 208
TOTAL HOURS 300

Assessment

EXAM Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
             
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
(Semester)
% of
final
mark
Resit/resubmission
opportunity
Penalty for late
submission
Notes
Class test There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Week 6  120 minutes    40       
Group presentation There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Group presentations week 11  20 minute group pres    30       
Individual reflective report. There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :Week 12  1000-words    30       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at readinglists.liverpool.ac.uk. Click here to access the reading lists for this module.