Thinking In Fragments – Assignment 2 (Reflection)

Our work tries to respond to a few characteristics of online screen making. Firstly, virtual reality, as we try to create the experience of being in this room, and the picture moving as one turns their head in different directions. Sensory quality, as we try to use video and audio to create this experience, and were we to actually produce a VR experience, we would encourage the use of a headset to single out the visual and audial qualities of the project. Our intention through this is to maximise immersion in any scenario that we may choose to create. We wanted to respond to interactivity in our preliminary version of the project, but alas it is just a video we’ve created so the viewer’s engagement has just been predetermined and there is no way for the viewer to actually make choices around the room (move around, select, back, etc). Thus in this video we just demonstrate that the ability to click on and explore what the viewer wants, as opposed to what we (the creator) want(s) them to explore, makes for a deep level of interactivity. However, throughout the development we have done, we considered, is just clicking on random objects really considered interactivity? If we did actually go ahead and create this VR experience, is a viewer’s selection (click) and the project’s response (open file), enough to call this entire experience interactive? And finally, we believe our project to be aesthetically driven, for we have tried to create an experience using specific visual qualities and sounds rather just words.

In development, and from the online fictional works looked at, interactivity is considered work where the “reader” or viewer has a choice over what happens in it, and where any predetermined setting does not interfere with this choice, (Eat Me, 2017). From attempting to upload the first copy of our project online, we also discovered that YouTube is far stricter with music licenses (specifically Sam Smith’s new album) than they are with copyrighted videos (copyrighted vine videos). A copyright strike and blocked video later, and we chose to use Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ instead and stuck with Vimeo.

If we were to develop this prototype further into a full VR experience, and we wanted to appeal to more of the senses – taste and smell and touch – how would we do this through the online environment? I consider, perhaps through the manipulation of thoughts, we can encourage a person to think about the smell of ex. lavender, and then this perception of ‘scent’ can generate a response in the viewer. Just like how when I used to watch Masterchef, and the decadent desserts would make me smell a cake baking in the kitchen and make my mouth water. In terms of online screen content in general, and not our project specifically, the question of interactivity still concerns me. I personally thought that the nonfiction works we saw in class were quite interesting because I had the ability to choose what I wanted to look at, and when I wanted this to happen. However, others in the class stated that they weren’t actually interactive and seemed more like a website than anything else. But isn’t a website interactive enough? I don’t understand the varying levels of interaction but I guess I haven’t finished exploring interactivity in regards to online screen making, and it’s something I will have to look at further in this class.

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