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Report – VR: The Creative Challenge

Posted on: Thursday 06 July 2017 4:54pm by Lyndsey Smith

The session discussed the opportunities Virtual Reality brings to the industry and the potential it has for engaging the audience emotionally through its experiences. There are however still unknowns about the technology especially in regards to children with an age limit in place on certain VR headsets.

Takeaway:

  • VR has the potential to engage with the audience emotionally through the user experiences
  • There are a number of possibilities with this technology for home use and commercial promotion
  • There are still unknowns with the technology and its effect on children.

Detail:

Phil Stuart, the Creative Director of Preloaded, has been making children’s content for 17 years and shared his son’s experience of using VR for the first time. At four years old he fully immersed himself within minutes with what he was witnessing, and this behaviour is more important at this age than storytelling according to Phil. His company aim to create content that is tailored to the needs and developmental milestones of children.

Fountain Digital Creator and CEO Svetlana Dragayeva currently designs VR experiences with the aim of encouraging conservation. The idea was to bring wildlife closer to users and make the experience more personal, with consumers left with the desire to return to the product again and again. Svetlana wanted to create a product which was able to facilitate empathy in children and adults and with the use of educational facts throughout to encourage an interest in conservation. Although there are age restrictions on headsets the company were still very conscious of possible child users keeping the camera still and to easing the consumer into the experience, all the while working with psychologists on scripts for future products.

Peter Caddock showed an example of the work he is creating with Studio Liddell, a game called ‘Lost Camera’ that allows players to move in order to interact with elements of the game. Players begin my establishing a field of movement with a Dash Teleport option in order to move further distances. The game also allows pictures to be taken and then uploaded to social media channels, expanding the isolated experience of VR onto other platforms.

Resh Sidhu, from Framestore, was able to show the commercial possibilities with VR by explaining how an experience was created around ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. This showed how the platform, although not designed for kids, still has kids wanting to get involved. The main challenge for this product was how to create something unique and not replicated on other platforms, which led to the focus on letting users feel like they were a wizard.

There were a number of questions that were brought up during the panel, including how to keep users coming back and how the experience many have only had during instillations can be replicated for an audience in home use. The unknowns of the technology were also discussed with the effects on children uncertain and whether the medium held any risks of addiction or cognitive overload.

Lyndsey Smith

About the author

Lyndsey Smith

CMC Blogger

Lyndsey is currently studying for an MA in Children’s Television Production at the University of Salford. She previously gained a BA in Journalism and Media at Bangor University and has worked as an edit assistant and a video journalist. Her interests include writing, theatre, and of course children’s television. She is also a leader… Read more

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