Who’s Studying Dreams and VR?

There’s anecdotal evidence that immersion in virtual/augmented reality alters consciousness. We need scientists to look into this. Some already are. I got a message from a product designer and concept developer named Ali Zareiee who lives in Oslo, Norway, who works closely with the organizations Oslo Science Park and Oslo MedTech. They’re starting to study the neurological effects of VR in Norway. Ali expressed interest … Continue reading Who’s Studying Dreams and VR?

What Would You Like To Learn In a VR Storyscaping Class?

I’m starting to plan a VR storyscaping class that I want to teach at CoMotion Labs. If you were to sign up for such a class, what would you hope to learn? I welcome your feedback via Facebook or email. This field of study is so new that I don’t even know that we can call it “storytelling.” In a recent lecture held by Northwest … Continue reading What Would You Like To Learn In a VR Storyscaping Class?

VR and the Subconscious

Could virtual reality have an effect on the human subconscious more profound than any other form of communication? Last night I saw a thread on Facebook involving some local cool VR people. Willard Williams, an architect with a badass profile pic, posted the following: I overheard someone after the ‪#‎WINHUGR‬ meetup talking about how people who are just getting into VR/AR have no idea what … Continue reading VR and the Subconscious

Amazon Looking to Hire VR Content Exec

Amazon is getting into VR content production and they’re looking for someone to lead the charge. Here’s a description of the gig. I have complicated feelings about Amazon. I worked there twice, from ’98-’00 and ’04-’07, first in Customer Service, then in Media Merchandising. It has taken me literally a decade to sort out my feelings about what I experienced there, and I have enough … Continue reading Amazon Looking to Hire VR Content Exec

That Time I Just Happened to Witness the Greatest Drummer In the World

This is a piece about the music of my teenage years, from an unpublished chapter of a memoir I’m writing called Nerd in a Time Machine.

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Scream, circa 1990. Photo by Naomi Peterson.

The evolution of rock and roll in the late eighties in the Pacific Northwest coincided so perfectly with my own adolescence that I might as well have had a bull’s-eye and the word “grunge” tattooed on my forehead. By ’88 or so, metal had exhausted its innuendoes and FM radio was offering up such eye-rollers as Simply Red, Fine Young Cannibals, and Great White. We were ready to hear something new. Continue reading “That Time I Just Happened to Witness the Greatest Drummer In the World”

Storyscapes

Last night at the 12th Avenue Arts Center, Daryle Conners, a game designer with a background in film, gave an excellent two-hour talk on storytelling for VR. I took a lot of notes and went home afterward with my head buzzing with ideas.

Conners used the word storyscapes to describe the function of story in VR. Film, novels, and other narrative media allow story to function procedurally according to the passage of time. We observe one event happening after another. The key difference with VR is that it allows for explorable worlds. To me this means that a VR experience is more like a sculpture than a narrative. Some, including Conners, have likened VR to a play.

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Spectators wear masks to differentiate themselves from the actors in Sleep No More.

Conners pointed to a particular production called Sleep No More as a model for how VR storytelling might work. Sleep No More is a site-specific theater experience based out of a warehouse in New York in which spectators can wander throughout the space, from room to room, watching multiple components of a story unfold in real time.

I jotted down a number of quotes from Conners’s talk that in themselves provide mini-lessons in storytelling. Continue reading “Storyscapes”