VR Narrative Content – The Hero’s (Fools) Journey 02:01

I am interested in how Transmedia (Animation/games) engage with narrative generally and in VR specifically both in terms of narrative content and game play mechanics. I am considering whether there should be more complex game mechanics design or whether to the project will be a more straightforward Cinematic VR experience.

In terms of narrative content, I have researched mythopoeic literature which focuses universal concepts of ‘The Hero’s Journey’. I am interested in those which illustrate an ‘epic quest’ as well general development on any pathway through time. I am considering whether the narrative could be developed as a ‘spiritual’ path of enlightenment/growth etc.

The text, The Rationalist’s Spirituality: Campbell’s Monomyth in Single-Player Role-Playing
Videogames Skyrim & Mass Effect, explores the notion that many videogames have this concept at their root. 


An example of this concept can be found in The Night Journey (2007-2018). This one of the first experimental art games ever made. A collaboration between renowned media artist Bill Viola and designers at the USC Game Innovation Lab, it uses both game and video techniques to tell the universal story of an individual’s journey towards enlightenment. 

The Night Journey

In terms of game play mechanics I am thinking about the level of interaction and control the participant will need to design a rewarding experience. I wasn’t thinking about designing a game but initially thought about producing a cinematic VR Experience. I am not currently sure but I know that I don’t want the participant to be entirely passive as if watching a film but I don’t want the game mechanics to be completely distracting from the narrative. I would like the participant to feel like they own the world and that they have a high level of autonomy to explore freely.