VR the Change
Imagine an opportunity to see the world through someone else's eyes, to step in their footsteps, effectively exploring a new perspective. The possibilities with experience in virtual reality are truly endless, but more often than not lack practical application. Some virtual reality experiences allow you to empathize with other people and their situations, but leave the situation feeling out-of-reach. Once the headset is taken off and you have left the virtual environment, you are effectively detached from the situation little longer than a pondering moment. And should you feel inspired, perhaps you are too short on time or money to travel to the location in need. Inspiration wilts into feeling powerless, and you return to your everyday routine.
Now, imagine an opportunity to not only intimately experience a new perspective, but also being able to seize your inspiration and act upon it. We envision a project that takes users through a narrative showcasing a humanitarian problem. Toward the end of the interactive story, we believe users will be moved, and find meaningful and easy ways to make change within their everyday routine.
VR the Change is an interactive narrative in which a person's behaviors directly impact and assist a Monarch butterfly migration, drawing a connection between sustainable practices and their consequences pertaining to climate change. We envision our experience to exist within a neighborhood of narratives of different social issues, maximizing on engagement from people of diverse perspectives.
This project is appropriate for a Capstone Project for the following reasons: (1) it directly confronts the issue of information dissemination necessary to understand the perspectives of others, (2) it explores the emerging technology frontier via virtual reality, (3) the target audience/user is not limited to a professional of any kind, and (4) we seek to tackle known design issues that break immersive engagement within virtual reality. To state differently, we combine typically unrelated sets of technologies for a purpose that can be ubiquitous, as it appeals to a human desire to "do good" given the resources.