How Virtual Reality differs from other storytelling mediums

VR creates infinite possibilities - but it’s still a brave new world where the battle for control over the narrative wages on.

The article ‘Virtual Reality: The User Experience of Story’ describes how VR is changing the way of storytelling...

VR requires new skills that are only just starting to be developed and understood, skills that are quite different from traditional storytelling. VR is a nascent medium. One part story, one part experience. And while many of the concepts from film and theater can be used, storytelling through VR is not like making a movie or a play.

In VR, the user has to be guided through an experience of a story, which means many of the challenges in telling a VR story are closer to UX design than anything from film or theater.

In VR storytelling, you can convince someone they are standing on the surface of Mars, but if they can’t pick up the rocks, they won’t believe it.

What we think at Wavelength VR: We like being in control

Steven Spielberg was quoted saying "I think we're moving into a dangerous medium with virtual reality. The only reason I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look.

"I just hope it doesn't forget the story when it starts enveloping us in a world that we can see all around us and make our own choices to look at."

At Wavelength VR we don’t think immersion is something to be afraid of - its something to be embraced.

When exploring a virtual world ‘users’ pick up pieces of the story along the way. The beauty of immersion is that the story becomes personal by choosing the order in which you pick up the pieces. This gives the user a sense of control over the narrative, by having the choice of where to look and what to explore, and we at Wavelength VR see this as something hugely beneficial.

When using VR for pain management, bio-feedback devices will allow patients to use their own body functions such as heart rate, breath, body temperatures, etc. to change the VR environment. Knowing they are capable of influencing the outcome of the experience only heightens the, already present, sense of control within the VR environment. Restoring a sense of control has been proven to alleviate patients distress and allows them to regain hope.

No other storytelling medium gives you this sense of control over the story and we think it is the most exciting aspect of virtual reality.  

Tell us what you think... is Steven Spielberg right or wrong - will the narrative be lost if we have control over it?   

Link: https://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/virtual-reality-the-user-experience-of-story/