where-thoughts-go

lucas-rizzotto
Where Thoughts Go: Prologue is one of my favorite VR storytelling experiences of the year, as I think that creator Lucas Rizzotto has discovered a number of different design innovations that push forward the storytelling potential of the VR medium. I’d highly recommend everyone check it out before diving into this interview unpacking his design philosophy of emotional education, and cultivating this sense of introspective, self-reflection.

Where Thoughts Go is an experiment in collaborative storytelling that is built on the premises that the emotional nuances of our human experience are complicated and nuanced, that everyone has a story, that these stories deserve to be heard. Rizzotto has crafted a series of worlds that cultivate a deep sense of emotional authenticity and vulnerability. Each world is designed to based around a specific question, and you can listen to previous answers to these questions by selecting a floating sphere that plays you previous responses. You’re then invited to record your own answer to these questions, which is added into the overall experience. It’s an ever-evolving, living story that is designed to create an introspective hero’s journey of self-reflection, and it’s a perfect example of what I’ve been referring to as the “Yin Archetypal Journey.”

The Yang Hero’s Journey is like Joseph Campbell’s Hero Journey, which is much more about the individuation of the hero making who is choices & taking action out in the world. The Yin Archetypal Journey is much more about ego disillusionment, centering the experience in the embodiment & emotional presence of an individual’s phenomenology, & seeing how an individual is connected to a larger whole. I previously spoke about the dynamics of the Yin Archetypal Journey with Cosmos Deng, who expands on how the Chinese mythologies and stories are influence by Taoist & Buddhist culture of focusing more on how the individual is connected to the larger whole. Where Thoughts Go manages to provide that experience of showing you the common threads of human experience as you listen and empathize with other people’s experience and reflect upon your own experiences relative to the questions.

I unpack some of the experiential design philosophy, collaborative storytelling innovations, and insights for how to create a VR experience that’s resilient to trolling with Rizzotto at the Magic Leap LEAPCon in early October.

LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE OF THE VOICES OF VR PODCAST

Here’s the announcement trailer for Where Thoughts Go: Prologue:

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Music: Fatality

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