Virtual environments as memory anchors

Eugene Ch’ng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingBook Chapterpeer-review


In the future, the past will be as accessible as the present. This statement is becoming as true with respect of the near past, as it is true for ancient history, following the previous two decades of digital transformation of archaeological research. Institutions have a tendency to favour recording large historical events over smaller, less significant happenstance. The same institutions endorse more distant material cultures over contemporary artefacts, trivialising that which is in abundance over rare historical objects. Yet, the memory of every individual has value, at least to that person and their family, whilst each individual has a moral responsibility to remember their own pasts. In this context, the chapter presented here discusses the notion of memory anchors and how immersive virtual environments can facilitate the process of remembering, reliving, sharing, and retention of individual memory. It examines what virtual reality can offer to remembrance, and the resilience of memory anchors within such environments. The chapter argues that physical objects and spaces associated with each individual must be captured as a moral obligation, and that the responsibility of such activities should rest at the level of family units where these memories reside.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationVisual heritage: digital approaches in heritage science
EditorsEugene Ch'ng, Henry Chapman, Vincent Gaffney, Andrew S. Wilson
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)9783030770303, 9783030770273
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Memory anchors
  • Virtual reality
  • Immersive virtual environments
  • Near heritage


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