Samantha and have I decided that for this assignment, we want to explore a different characteristic of online screen work. In the previous weeks, we considered the value of hashtags and their presence in our lives as both media creators and media consumers. As media makers, they can be used to organise images and information into one space, and even provide this space for a community/audience across multiple online platforms and increase our reach using unique keywords. As media consumers, they offer us a sense of familiarity and the ability to share information and communicate with others who have the same interests.
This week however, after engaging with the non-fiction work ‘September 1955’, a virtual reality documentary, we decided to explore virtual reality. To us, virtual reality means providing a realistic experience through the engagement of the senses. Perhaps this is the second quality we will look at – sensory quality. We plan to appeal to sight – video – and hearing – sound, for now. Our intent is to have a viewer immerse themselves in the scenario that we simulate, which may be something as simple as looking around the room. Either way, our work will be considered an example of new media, for its construction, storage, and distribution involves the use of computer-based technology (Manovich, 2001). For right now, we consider the distribution of our project to be simply a presentation. There is no opportunity for interactivity because our prototype is just a video. We simply aim to demonstrate the capacity for a viewer to engage with our work, by clicking on what they want to explore and doing so, but right now, this is not possible. The level of interaction is passive, but our hope is to make the entire simulation as interactive as the documentary we chose to look at, and involve directional sound and movement around the room, in the direction the viewer chooses. My concern is one that was raised in class – how ‘interactive’ is it really? Will our final product really be influenced by an audience at all or is it just clicking and exploring what we have already pre-designed. As of right now, I am trying to think of ways to deepen the level of interaction beyond just ‘participation’ and instead, allowing participants to leave an actual mark/effect on our work.