Spatial storytelling in VR allows realities to interact and visitors to move seamlessly between them.

Story potential in a nutshell

  1. Mixing digital realities: Convergence in spatial storytelling allows for the mixing of digital realities, allowing participants to inhabit multiple worlds and fostering a blending of experiences.
  2. Framing: Convergence in spatial storytelling allows to frame how the audience enters and leaves the virtual experience.
  3. Liminal space: Liminal space in spatial storytelling harnesses the power of 'double presence', allowing the audience to feel both the physical and virtual worlds.

As audiences enter the virtual environment, spatial storytelling has a unique advantage over other formats in that it seamlessly orchestrates the convergence of digital and physical realities. Particularly for location-based experiences – such as those presented at exhibitions, festivals or similar events – achieving this seamless transition is paramount. This can be achieved by incorporating elements into the physical space that act as «bridges» and enhance immersion. For example, placing sand on the floor to transport participants to a virtual beach, or incorporating specific smells and sounds that match the virtual destination, creates a seamless blend of realities.

«Spatial storytelling in VR blurs the lines between physical and virtual reality.»

Being a participant in VR inherently places you in a unique liminal space, floating somewhere between the physical and the virtual at the same time. This advantage of «double presence» sets VR apart from other formats and can be used to great effect by integrating the visitor’s body into the virtual experience, using their gaze, movement, breath, heart rate or the like to trigger visual cues or narrative elements and make participants physically experience the story.

By mixing physical and virtual realities and blurring the boundaries between them, spatial storytelling allows the audience to inhabit multiple worlds simultaneously and enjoy the interplay between them. For example, participants can find themselves physically in a memorial to persecuted Jews, while at the same time being transported back in time and experiencing what happened in that very place.

Along the audience's journey, convergence is crucial as they enter and leave a virtual experience. These transitional moments are essential for framing the spatial storytelling experience: what context is given to the audience beforehand? What is the audience confronted with in physical space when they leave the virtual experience and how can they share their experience?

In conclusion, the concept of convergence is central to guiding the audience through the spatial storytelling journey, ensuring seamless transitions between physical and virtual worlds and enhancing the overall immersive experience. And as VR headsets also become Mixed Reality headsets, where the physical environment is part of the experience, we are on the verge of a new wave of storytelling where your own lifeworld plays an essential role in the narrative.

Sensational Convergence

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