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Shakespeare's Garden - Virtual Reality: An Immersive Virtual Sound Stroll
While educational, professional, and gaming environments in virtual reality are common, little has been done to explore virtual reality’s potential application in theatre and performance art. Shakespeare's Garden - Virtual Reality (SG-VR) is an immersive audio-visual experience based on a previously exhibited physical installation called Shakespeare’s Garden. It is an attempt to replicate, augment, and further develop the original experience. Virtual reality allows the artists’ original intent and new visions to shine through in interesting ways that are not possible in a physical space. Using a VR headset, the user is immersed in a spatialized ambient audio soundscape of natural sounds, surrounded by visual projections of sonnet texts, and encouraged to explore the space, occasionally wandering into target areas where they are able to hear selected Shakespeare sonnets and dramatic scenes recited by recorded actors. SG-VR represents an inquiry into the question, “Can we create an aesthetic, artistic, and meaningful experience in VR?” Based on user feedback and the opinions of the original artists, the answer is ‘yes’.