Released: January 2016
Creators: Arnaud Colinart, Amaury La Burthe, Peter Middleton, James Spinney
Format: 360 experience, 25min
Viewing System: Gear VR, Oculus
Notes on Blindness is a 360 immersive experience on what it feels like to go blind. The experience is guided by the audio diaries developed by theologist John Hull as a way to express his feelings and frustrations with regard to going blind. It is divided into various sections that explore Hull’s change on perception towards the worlds once vision is not the main way in which he experiences it. He talks about hearing and the effects of sound and the feeling of wind and rain as sensorial forms that showcase a world no lead by vision.
What works? First, I believe the experience is truly immersive. The narrative and storytelling elements alongside the sonic and graphic components of the experience make it feel seamless. Furthermore, the user experience is incredibly intuitive. I feel that the lack of prompts and use of of light and sound to guide user are incredible. The project uses the side touch pad for actions but this does not distract from the narrative at all. The use of the touchpad actually adds another level of interactiveness that resembles that of a game. Nevertheless, the gamified feeling is very well integrated into the experience and does not detract from the story being told.
What didn’t work?t: I felt the experience extended for to long and some of the actions became repetitive. Doing repetitive actions detracted from the general idea the experience was trying to convey. When discussing sensation repeating makes it duller, so I believe that the idea of repeating some of the actions took away from the sensation of “blindness”. Also I believe the epilogue didn’t feel in sync with the rest of the experience, it sort of felt out of the blue and not cohesive.
I believe that overall the project showcases what is meant by immersiveness. The content and the story are showcase in the best possible medium to be medium to be showcase on. The virtual reality doesn’t seem as an afterthought. It is at the core of the story and the project.