William Scarlett is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology at The New School for Social Research whose dissertation research explores concepts, practices, and experiences of "presence" in Immersive Virtual Reality (VR).
WILLIAM SCARLETT is a Ph.D. student of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research. His dissertation research explores concepts, practices, and experiences of “presence” in Immersive Virtual Reality (VR). VR developers and users frequently describe experiencing presence, or the feeling of “being there,” in simulated bodies and environments. This highly mediated illusion of immediate contact with the virtual is currently the focus of empirical studies on human perception using VR to further enhance the presence phenomenon. Presence is widely believed to shape users’ behaviors and reflections on their experience outside of VR, and is becoming a common metaphor among scientists and philosophers for consciousness itself. Drawing on fieldwork at the Experimental Virtual Environments for Neuroscience and Technology (EVENT) Lab in Barcelona, William is investigating presence’s emergence at the intersection of social, technological, experimental, economic, biological, and sensory processes.