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Peer Reviewed Article

Vol. 11 (2022)

Exploring Immersive Mixed Reality Simulations and Its Impact on Climate Change Awareness

2022 May 19


Traditional communication mediums, such as videos, posters, and newspapers, contribute to challenges in understanding climate change consequences and have yet to effectively communicate the seemingly-abstract concept. To combat widespread climate change misconceptions that halt global mitigation efforts, investigating effective mediums to raise awareness is necessary. We propose an immersive simulation through Mixed Reality to help users contextualize the consequences of climate change through immersion and interactivity. With a LiDAR-scanned physical environment, we constructed a proof-of-concept 3D visualization system that conveyed the detrimental effects of climate change. Our system simulates a personally-relevant experience that allows users to navigate through climate-related disasters, including a spreading wildfire and a rising flood with tornadoes. To evaluate our methods, we conducted a pilot study and collected numeric and qualitative data, including motion sickness symptoms and environment-related statistics. Participants of our study provided feedback indicating the system’s immersive success; users also responded with heightened motivation to adopt more sustainable practices in the future. Results demonstrate the prominent applicability of Mixed Reality visualization systems in raising climate change awareness and aiding climate change contextualization.


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