Digital Semiotics – Oscar Bastiaens

Stemming from the field of linguistics, semiotics is the study of signs and the meanings we attach to those signs, an expression of man and animal behaviour. With birth of the internet age, and especially virtual reality, whole new breeds of signs are created that are unique to that environment. The existence of these signs are growing simply by the digital spaced being used and evolving. When it comes to virtual reality, semiotics takes on a whole new role. Recreating, or just creating, worlds that seem real to the user, will require a firm understanding of semiotics, an understanding of why a symbol or sign is the way it is and what it means to us. A miss communication of these signs, may be enough to break immersion for the user and create an incomplete experience due to this break in the imposed reality.

Semiotics is an important aspect in the realm of media theory, but I feel that it is important to understand that how we view signs in the physical world is quite different to how they are perceived in the digital. While this talk does not go very far in depth with this matter, it does provide a basis of understanding and some useful examples to keep in mind.

  • TEDx Talks (2015) Digital Semiotics: Making Sense of the World | Oscar Bastiaens | TEDxDordrecht. [Online Video] February 20th. Available from: [Last Accessed: 21/10/16]

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