Catherine Allen, CEO of Limina Immersive, Warwick Theatre Studies alumnus.

This example shows how a well-crafted and implemented narrative can be used to connect the audience with otherwise inaccessible people, places, events, and dilemmas. The medium is VR, but the same approach may be used with other digital media including video, audio, text, and animation.

Working with the BBC, Catherine produced this VR experience as part of the 100-year commemoration of the Easter Rising rebellion in Dublin, Ireland. It’s not a celebration. And it doesn’t take sides. It doesn’t even pretend to be an objectively accurate account of the event. But it is an authentic and empathetic journey through the memory of one of its protagonists, Willie McNeive. In the VR experience the participant begins in the present with Willie recounting his story. Through the magic of CGI we travel back in time to the critical point: we’re with Willie and his Republican comrades in the General Post Office, about to be besieged by the British Army. And then as the action unfolds into a terrible dilemma, it turns to us, the participant: what would you do in this situation? It’s not that there’s a correct answer. The point is to make us, 21st-Century people living in peace, connect on human level. Six years after the release of Voice of a Rebel, people in Europe are again faced with these dilemmas, as Russian forces create chaos in the East of the continent.

This is a flat-form trailer. To experience it in VR, use an Oculus Go, Quest or Rift (Warwick Uni members can contact Robert O’Toole for a demo).

Easter Rising, Voice of a Rebel (BBC 2016)