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2004 Rockefeller New Media Foundation Proposal

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  • Political Science
  • Psychology


This project is a virtual reality drama, The Trial The Trail, to be presented in an immersive virtual reality system. Imagine Tarkovsky's Stalker, crossed with Alice Through the Looking Glass, crossed with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Now imagine embarking on a guided journey through this warped yet familiar landscape. As you proceed your actions and interactions are logged, interpreted psychologically, and used to determine the outcome of your quest. The underlying question for this project is: Can virtual reality be as powerful a medium for fiction as novels, plays, film? VR immerses the user in a 3D audio/visual environment which she navigates and interacts with in real time. In fiction, the reader/viewer identifies with a protagonist who is dealing with a challenging situation. It has proven very difficult to bring the two together and make the user the protagonist, navigating a dramatic situation that is rich emotionally, psychologically, sociologically, politically. This project builds on the lessons we learnt creating a previous virtual fiction, The Thing Growing, and continues our explorations and experimentations in the field of virtual fiction.

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