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Virtual Reality and the Digital Divide

Title: Virtual Reality and the Digital Divide.

Inaccessible until May 8, 2021 due to copyright restrictions.

Name(s): Dilanchian, Andrew Taylor, author
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Bachelor Thesis
Date Issued: 2019-04-26
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Summary: Each year, more innovative, and often more complicated, technology is released. While this poses little threat to most of the younger population (because of technology designers’ habit of catering to younger consumers, among other reasons), many older adults continue to play “catch-up” as they struggle to decipher newer devices. This situation is commonly referred to as the “digital divide.” This divide permeates into entertainment technology as well; the Entertainment Software Association (2017) reports that forty-six percent of gamers are younger adults (18-49) while only twenty-six percent are older adults (50+). Within the domain of gaming, even less is known about older adults’ adoption, perception of, and attitudes toward Virtual Reality gaming, and potential usability issues that might impact use and adoption. With that, this study is designed to examine how older adults compare to younger adults when using virtual reality, a relatively novel entertainment technology, and to determine how the novelty of this technology might impact age differences in factors that shape Virtual Reality (VR) use. We recruited twenty younger adults (18-29) as well as twenty older adults (65+). Each participant experienced the same virtual experiences using the HTC Vive. Of primary interest are the following factors: perceived realism of the virtual space, involvement in the virtual environment, general presence, and spatial presence. We were also interested in the perceived usability of the virtual reality system and any factors that would negatively affect the participant’s experience (i.e., frustration, mental, temporal, and physical demand, cyber sickness, etc.). We found that older and younger adults had generally similar experiences. Older adults, in some instances, experienced greater immersion and presence. Surprisingly, cyber sickness, which was expected to be a problem based on previous research, was low, and significantly lower for older adults.
Identifier: FSU_libsubv1_scholarship_submission_1556133089_b1c0e18c (IID)
Keywords: Digital Divide, Virtual Reality, Technology, Aging, Adoption, Human Factors
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Dilanchian, A. T. (2019). Virtual Reality and the Digital Divide. Retrieved from