Second Life Redux: Another Perspective on Potentially Deceptive Advertising in Virtual Reality

2nd-lifePiotr Kulaga, a UX Analyst & Designer in Sydney, Australia, has been reading this blog about as long as anyone. His time in the digital media industry gives perspective, and he shared the following thoughts about my recent post on False Advertising in VR that I thought were worth sharing.  Here they are, reproduced from his LinkedIn comment:

Precisely this problem, lack of precision and distortions of scale, emerged about a decade ago in Second Life. Virtual showrooms, homes etc. in SL need to be oversized in proportion to the avatar to accommodate the convention of having a camera behind and above the actual POV of the avatar. Otherwise, realistic space proportions result in looking at the outside of the room avatar occupies, not quite the intended or desirable outcome.

Consequently, objects appear to be very small in context of the virtual space or when similarly oversized, too large in proportion to the avatar. The compromise often used and acceptable to some were open or partially enclosed spaces e.g. rooms without ceilings. But even this approach could be readily interpreted as misleading and deceptive in terms of the final illusion created for the user.

BTW, back then, Virtual Worlds held similar commercial expectations that AR/VR evangelists are spruiking these days.

I especially appreciate this comment because it introduced me to the Australian slang term “spruik,” which apparently means “to make or give a speech, especially extensively or elaborately; spiel; orate … (used especially of a showman or salesman).” Learn something new every day.

What do the rest of you think–will modern-day VR advertising necessarily be out of proportion?  And if so, will that make it deceptive, or will viewers come to expect and understand it?