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Evaluating the Impact of a Virtual Reality Application in Raising Awareness Toward the Destruction of Cultural Heritage Sites

Christos Hadjipanayi; Eleni Demitriadou; Haris Frangou; Maria Papageorgiou; Christina Zavlanou; Andreas Lanitis

The aim of our work is to investigate the applicability of Virtual Re-ality (VR) in raising awareness of users in relation to the destruction of im-portant monuments. The proposed methodology involves the exposure of users to three virtual environments displaying the original state of a monument, the current state and the predicted future state of the same monument in the case that the monument is not maintained. The exposure to the three states of the same building allows the user to experience the “glorious days” of a monument and compare them to the current and future states in an attempt to realize the level of destruction that could occur to the building if the monument is not maintained properly. As part of a pilot case study, a number of volunteers were asked to navigate in virtual environments depicting the three chronological states of a landmark building. Preliminary results indicate a significant increase of the intensity of negative emotions of the users, indicating the applicability of VR in alerting the society toward the destruction of important monuments.

This work has been partly supported by the project that has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 739578 (RISE – Call: H2020-WIDESPREAD-01-2016-2017-TeamingPhase2) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development. This is a pre-print of an article published in International Conference on Artificial Neural Networks. The final authenticated version is available online at . © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018.
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