Digital Storytelling is not a new concept. It has been a popular format for projects for years and is growing in popularity here at Trinity. With the increasing availability of 360 degree cameras and Virtual Reality Headsets (from cheap Google Cardboard type headsets to Oculus Rift and HTC Vive systems) Digital Storytelling is evolving to include a new format often called Immersive Storytelling. Immersive Stories can be 360 degree videos or fully developed interactive Virtual Worlds. The formerly passive viewer is now an active participant in the storyscape.
For a sample of the power of this approach see a The Wait which is a Masters Thesis project created by students from The University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. This project focuses on the refugee crisis in Europe with the goal of generating empathy for the conditions faced by immigrants waiting for asylum in Germany.
Immersive videos are starting to go mainstream with videos regularly being produced by the New York Times, the United Nations and screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival. We have made a few examples available on our Oculus Rift stations in the Center for Educational Technology including The Displaced and Clouds Over Sidra.
The Educational Technology Department is excited to support students and faculty who want to experiment with this new platform and we are in the process of procuring some 360 degree cameras for faculty and students to experiment with. If you want to experience the power of Immersive Storytelling for yourself or experiment with creating your own contact your Instructional Technologist or stop by the Center for Educational technology on Level 1 of the Library.