Grammer and language in the “wild west” of VR

Saschka  Unseld, creative director of Oculus Story Studio and his team are looking at the grammer that plays inside VR.  As Angela Watercutter writes on Wired ” virtual reality is the Wild West of film-making…everything is new”. And Watercutter is correct. Everything IS new in VR.

Saschka Unseld – Uncovering the Grammar of VR from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.

Recently we wrote about how at Snobal we’re also exploring what are some of the nomenclatures  of VR.  Unseld  [who will be speaking at the upcoming Future of Storytelling summit ] also raises interesting observations in the opinion piece in particular on the issue of empathy and how he sees it experienced in virtual environments and how that  may impact the storytelling experiences and how it’s constructed.

In VR if a story is told well it is actually all about you.
 Saschka Unseld (Creative Director, Oculus Story Studio)

Whether VR experiences are created for entertainment, eCommerce or serious games (i.e learning, health and education)  Unseld observations that placing the user at the centre of the VR story is important still holds true.  We can’t help but ask what will happen to VR per se not to mention VR language and grammer  when VR publishing tools are put in the hands of the ‘masses’.  Think of the impact to journalism and media with the proliferation of blogging publishing platforms like Wordpress not to mention the proliferation of social media (“citizen journalism”).  How will the grammar of VR evolve when VR publishing platforms like Snobal are made easily accessible to non-technical people not just the early adopters or ‘VR elite” if you like?

Earlier this month in  Matthias Mccoy-Thopson, Co-founder/COO of  Washington based Agora VR wrote an article about why he feels now is the most important time in VR. We can’t help but agree.

In the article Mccoy-Thompson puts forward an argument of the need to establish the right systems from the start not legacy systems that in hindsight make no sense but that somehow we all end up stuck with for better or worse (think QWERTY Keyboards or the mouse).  Given the current evolution of VR grammer and language I especially like the Mccoy-Thompson’s comment on creation v consumption:

Virtual reality is an incredibly addictive medium. Creators of VR content have the ability to manipulate the environment and experience in ways that can easily make it more compelling than real life…But now we have two choices. We can either make these addictive experiences ultimately hollow and meaningless, simply a way to pass the time. Or we can turn the psychological power of virtual reality towards creation, expression, and human connection. If creators of the earliest virtual reality content focus on creating experiences that reward creativity, we set the stage for decades of creative uses of VR.
 Matthias Mccoy-Thompson,Co-founder/COO of Agora VR