Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Perceptions Of Space

I have been  creating 3 dimensional environments exploring the possibilities of virtual space. Initially I was just experimenting with the world, trying to think of ways to implement non-Euclidean geometries inspired by the games I looked at in my previous post. 

When coding the virtual camera there is a parameter that defines the field of view of the screen. I accidentally entered the 'wrong' number and discovered some pretty exciting results that enabled the field of view to extend beyond that of a human eye. This produces some pretty warped and twisted visuals that completely disorient the player - a fish-eye-like effect hat can be extended to impossible extremes.

Beyond the visual intrigue of this experiment, such technique opens up a unique dialogue in the discussion of virtual space. Bending the 'field of view' effects the virtual camera, adjusting the way which we as an audience experience a space. The significance of this is that despite appearances, the actual game space remains unchanged, objects occupying the same coordinates of Cartesian space despite the apparent ocular aberrations which may occur. 
It is not the space that is changing, only our perception of it.

This concept highlights the relativity of our own spacial experiences; we expect virtual worlds to behave a certain way based upon the understandings we have of our own and when they don't conform, these spaces become powerful mechanisms of affect.

Space perceived from a 'normal' field of view
The same space, viewed from a distorted perspective

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