Creating a Tool to Explore Intergenerational Understandings Through the use of Virtual Reality in Malaysia

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Giselle Su Hong Gick
Associate Professor Harold Thwaites


This paper provides an introduction to a research-creation project, focusing on developing a prototype Virtual Reality (VR) educational tool. Younger people in Malaysia have limited exposure to or interest in information relating to the elderly, resulting in an intergenerational disconnect. The wider project aims to develop a VR teaching tool inspired by an existing role-playing simulation game (Aging Game). As a storytelling-based experience, VR can be used to share the discomfort faced by older people when using information and communications technology (ICT) such as computers/cell phones, internet and social media.The project is to explore the potential VR has to act as a bridge between the generations and to raise awareness in younger people about intergenerational
issues. The primary focus of this discussion paper is to discuss design and modification of the VR tool for creating interactive experiences that inhabit both the real and the unreal (virtual) world.

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Author Biographies

Giselle Su Hong Gick, Sunway University

Giselle Su Hong Gick is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research–Creation in Digital Media, Sunway University, Malaysia. Her research focuses on Virtual and Augmented Reality for learning and education, as well as narratives and storytelling. She seeks to explore new approaches to digital media and provide innovative perspectives on the intersection of technology and creativity.

Associate Professor Harold Thwaites, Sunway University

Harold Thwaites is professor and head of the Centre for Research–Creation in Digital Media (CRCDM) at the School of Arts at Sunway University, Malaysia. Originally from Canada, he was a tenured associate professor in the Communication Studies Department at Concordia University in Montreal for 31 years. His research and teaching are in communication and media studies, digital heritage, experiential media arts, audience/user media impact, information design, biocybernetic research, media production and digital humanities. Prof. Thwaites sits on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Virtual Reality, the Open Journal of Virtual Reality, and the Journal of Virtual Creativity. At Sunway University his current projects include the international Virtual–Augmented Reality Research Network (VARRN) and the CRCDM
Hainan Boatbuilder of Pangkor Island project, exploring the digital preservation of Malaysian cultural heritage and museum experiences for the cultural imaginary. He continues to share his passion for innovating new projects and fields of research with staff and students in Malaysia.