Immersive Storytelling: Lecture 1 Response

What do you think of Brenda Laurel’s guidelines?

In our first lecture we discussed how virtual reality is definitely one of the most undeniable forms of immersive storytelling, and Brenda Laurel successfully defines the factors that contribute to a true virtual reality experience through her guidelines. Virtual reality should do what its name says – bring the user to a virtual world that seems like reality. I believe that for designers, Laurel’s guidelines are key to making the user feel this way. For example, being in a complete surround environment that shows depth perception and motion parallax, having the correct spatialized audio coming from accurate places, and tracking the participant’s direction of motion are all small detailed design elements that contribute to a big part of the user experience. I am a visually based design student so what I haven’t realized and what I found interesting from the lecture is that real virtually reality immerses the user in a virtual world which the user can take action – VR is not only about being an a visually natural realistic virtual world, but also making users feel as if they can actually make their own decisions and take their own actions, just like in real life. Realistic graphics are important, but the participation of the user must be considered. As Laurel mentioned, this creates a sense of personal agency – allowing the participant to create a story, the designers of the story must encourage the participant to make interesting choices. I took in the information from the first lecture from a design perspective and I learned how engaging our users in our work is equally as important as a stellar visual experience.

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