Today, the idea of ‘virtual’ has come to refer largely to virtual technologies – gaming, augmented realities and, increasingly, the application of these technologies for social and community benefit, such as health and wellness. However, virtual worlds, objects and things long predate modern computing technology. When considered in its simplest form, ‘virtual’ suggests something simulated, approximated, almost real or standing in for something else. Virtual worlds have long existed and in the creative arts, particularly, the virtual has always been present. Paintings, novels, biography, blueprints, photography, film – these are all versions of the virtual, equipping people to take a journey without leaving their own physical space, to experience other places, times, narratives or lives, while existing, simultaneously, within their own construct.

In fact, the desire for virtual realities, parallel experiences, uninhibited access to other worlds and stories, is one that is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Imagination and curiosity are arguably our strongest assets as humans. And we both exercise and satiate these characteristics through our endless creations of the virtual.