VR is a machine that makes us more human


Inspiring 10 minute talk by Chris Milk on how virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine:


… compelling stuff. Almost the amalgamation of Virtual, Augmented and Distributed Reality?

Do you know if his 360 video story (of the refugee camp in Jordan) is available online?

He also mentions in passing a great way to summarize immersion/presence reality-wide – “When inside … it feels like truth.”

Applied as a subjective measure of experience, that way of putting it seems to work just as well for empathy machines, motion-to-photon machines and whatever we’ll call VR tech for the blind or visually-impaired.


I was struck by his "“When inside … it feels like truth” comment too, seems quite profound.

There are details on how to watch the actual movie here. It’s distributed via a 3D movie player called Vrse.

More generally, having trawled through countless Oculus demos, I’m starting to feel the storytelling capabilities offered by VR have the potential to become the most compelling VR experiences. The idea of actually participating in a movie seems to ignite a lot of enthusiasm when I discuss VR with non-technical friends.
Ultimately, I think a blend of storytelling and interaction that affects the plot will blur the lines between some games genres and movies to a point where they become virtually indistinguishable.

Let’s bring it on in HIFi and start thinking about telling some stories!


In the moment I read a nice book about the storytelling and the immersion, the old story tellers have brought the people.

"Once upon a time there was a country called the Land of Pots and Pans where there were no games of any kind. No children ever played soccer or hopscotch, and no grown-ups ever played tennis or backgammon or chess. All they ever did was to gaze adoringly at the pots and pans they made, and all their conversation dwelled on how the could make even better pots and pans.
Then one day a man digging his field came across a chessboard and pieces, fashioned from the most beautiful dark blue stones flecked with gold. He had never seen a chessboard or pieces before and certainly had no idea of how to play chess.
He ran into the village with the object and marveled at it in the central square. Very soon a crowd gathered and soon after that the entire country had heard of the beautiful objects and of the man who had found them.
The farmer became famous and traveled far and wide displaying what he had found. When people asked him what the fabulous blue and gold board and pieces were for, as they sometimes did, he would laugh at them. ‘Are you so stupid that you think everything should have a purpose?’ he would shout. ‘This is art and that’s quite enough of a purpose!’
Eventually, news of the man’s great treasure spread beyond the borders of his own land and he received an invitation to the next country to show off the art. When he arrived at the capital of the country, the Land of Games, a banquet was held in his honor.
When all the guests had eaten their fill, the king stood up and asked the farmer if he would show the treasure. The man pulled out a box from under the banqueting table and showed the king the carved figures and the board. The monarch, who was a wise man, smiled. He guessed at once what had happened… that the people of the neighboring kingdom celebrated the beauty of an object but were blind it its deeper and original use.

Our society is in some ways like the Land of Pots and Pans. We all grow up hearing stories, and marvel at their ingenuity and their brilliance. But we forget that the stories, like the chessboard and pieces, have a far deeper and more instructive use. But all is not lost. We can be re-taught how decode the messages in the tales that surround us, how to learn from them, in the same way that you can teach almost anyone the rules of chess. It will of course take them a lifetime to appreciate the full complexities of the game."