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Virtual Reality- From Storytelling to Storyliving

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Chitra Mishra

From Before Christ to Ana Domini, storytelling has been a key to our existential story. And this key has undergone many stages of evolution since its existence, from writing to radio, film to animation and most recently, social media. Blogs, vines, podcasts, technology has let out a spree to new storytelling methods. And when Virtual Reality and Storytelling met at the cross roads, they decided to tag along and continue on the same path. Thus came the renaissance in storytelling.

Welcome to the world of interactive storytelling with VR!

In 2014, Framestore VR Studio worked with Relevent and HBO to create a take-me-by-surprise kind of immersive virtual reality experience for an episode of the popular Game of Thrones series. A

thrilling new idea of storytelling that actually puts you into a TV show and begins to change the course of how a narrative experience can be delivered. The attraction arranged was called “Ascend the Wall,” provides a virtual reality visit to the huge, ominous structure that protects the Seven Kingdoms from wildlings and those creepy ghost zombie creatures. Fans can relate. HBO teamed with Relevent to create the virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift technology.

Ever since, several Virtual Reality Story telling ideas are ushering in a global 3D media infrastructure, directing towards immersive content at mass-scale. Virtual reality is in its embryonic stage in India. Examples are few but none. Anand Gandhi, who made his directorial debut with Ship of Theseus, is now trying to remould the cast of storytelling through virtual reality. He is the first filmmaker to bring the technology to the country. The storytelling part of every experience is greatly affected by how the story unfurls throughout. From a filmmaker or rather, a storyteller’s point of view, he or she should be able to control the audience’s view. The ultimate goal is to bring back the reality. Therefore, while paying due respect to the viewer’s freedom of view, the storyteller should be able to direct or guide the viewer, so as to not let the viewer miss out on the important plots of the story, while looking elsewhere. But that’s just the storytelling part of it. It’s a mix of art and know how of technology. So basically, if you’re a VR Storyteller, you’re a good enough scientist.

Gaming. How can we ever not mention about the immense scope of storytelling in this galaxy. We can pleasantly agree on the fact, that the storylines games offer these days are pure awesome. Imagine the possibilities of experiencing the story in the game. Or putting it in a much better way, living the story.

With Virtual Reality placing the stakes high on this entertainment business,every step from here is a thrilling one.

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