Essay On Virtual Reality

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Ever since Edward Muybridge discovered the technique of high-speed photography, an invention which led to the birth of cinema, artists have attempted to stretch the capabilities of the medium to extreme degrees. 360-video, or arguably simply virtual reality, has started to take content-sharing websites by storm and a few storytellers that are ahead of the curve have already started adapting their stories into the virtual reality realm in order to take full advantage of this new technology. Virtual reality seems destined to be the next big evolution in video games, however with film there are many problems that are ultimate detrimental to the possibilities of immersive filmmaking. Humans are natural storytellers and a key part of the appeal …show more content…
When one reads a novel such as The Great Gatsby they are immediately immersed into the upper-class world of the 1920s and for a moment they can forget the problems that they are experiencing in their own lives. Of course being told a story can only take one so far; it is simply up to the imagination of the reader/viewer to interpret the rest of the world as they see fit. Obviously the next step in storytelling is the virtual reality realm. Many science-fiction stories of the past talk of machines that are capable of essentially creating worlds by displaying any world that a human can imagine on screens in front of them. For decades after this initial spark, technological companies have been fighting to be the first one to create a truly realistic virtual reality experience. Currently, many companies like Valve and Oculus have been working to create a believable virtual reality device, and with commercial releases like the Oculus Rift and Vive, many video games are capitalizing on this new gimmick. The medium of video games requires user interaction to play the game; the player has their own agency within the world of the game in one way or another even if it is as simple as moving a paddle up and down on a screen to ensure that your …show more content…
Where there is agency within video games, film is a rather strict medium in comparison. For a normal feature film, each shot is carefully planned and every action that occurs within the frame has its purpose and needs to be seen by the viewer in order to fully understand the overall story. In film it is a director’s job to decide when to use a close-up to emphasize an action, when to keep a wide shot or when to cut a specific character’s reaction to a situation. In order for virtual reality to really be successful it is necessary to take this power away from the content creator and instead this power is given to the agent of the experience; the viewer can turn to look at a different action, one can turn to look at a different character and given true freedom the viewer can completely miss the story that the director laid out for the viewer to experience. These videos cannot be classified as a film and seems to lie in a grey area between a video game and film. After watching a few of these ‘short-films’ on YouTube, it feels like one is playing a game that they have no control over. There are two films in particular that one can easily dissect and easily show the problems with this innovating medium. The first is a short film titled Help directed by Justin Lin, the same director who has

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