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Seeing Is Believing: Using the Rhetoric of Virtual Reality to Persuade

  • Mark Ulrich Stanford University


Virtual reality, media at its most vivid, is entering our lives and changing how we think and act through specific rhetorical techniques. This “virtual rhetoric” can be observed through experiments using head-mounted displays and position tracking systems to create persuasive and immersive virtual worlds. Through empirical, experiential, and theoretical lenses, this article describes the rhetorical mechanisms often present in virtual reality and urges the importance of understanding the subtle emotional and often manipulative aspects of virtual rhetoric.

Author Biography

Mark Ulrich, Stanford University

Mark Ulrich is a sophomore at Stanford University majoring in Computer Science. He currently works as a coder for the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab and a section leader for the introductory computer science course. This summer he will be studying abroad in the Mediterranean through the Semester at Sea program. Mark intends to continue studying how people use computers in graduate school.

How to Cite
Ulrich, M. (2015). Seeing Is Believing: Using the Rhetoric of Virtual Reality to Persuade. Young Scholars in Writing, 9, 5-18. Retrieved from