How to Tell the Best Stories in Virtual Reality, According to Aaron Koblin

How to Tell the Best Stories in Virtual Reality, According to Aaron Koblin

In an exclusive interview with the Co-Founder of Vrse, we learn about developing visceral experiences for unconventional markets

  • 19 june 2015

As PSFK Labs follows along the virtual reality evolution closely, we speak to industry leader Aaron Koblin for our PSFK Virtual Reality Debrief. Koblin tells us that we’re at a magical time, a time when technology is passing crucial thresholds. We’ve reached a point when an attachment enables an experience that can transport us to another place and give us a new sense of presence. Find below a preview of our VR report conversation with Koblin about the industry in which he’s inspiring its future.

The co-founder of Vrse, a VR company emphasizing the narrative-based realistic experiences within the evolving medium, Koblin is focused on new ways of compositing and editing film that feels completely immersive for the user.

What we’re currently focused on is how can we create something that feels real, that feels like something that maybe you can really connect with on an emotional scale. We’re continuing to develop a player and a platform which will basically be driven by the content. So, ‘How can we build a player that allows you to use the latest, greatest technology, but specifically, technology that allows you to tell the best stories? And how can we build a player that is driven by that aspiration, not just because the technology is capable of it?’ It’s more about taking that content-first perspective.

As a consumer, we can access very basic VR at a low cost using solely our mobile phone and a Google Cardboard attachment. A viewer can take over an entire room and environment and move throughout that space, but the distribution of mediocre content will continue to impact the industry as a whole. The reality is that participants can escape to anywhere but it’s up to VR storytellers to produce dynamic effects and meaningful experiences that will deeply resonate with people.

When you’re tricking the mind in thinking you’re [elsewhere], it has a deeper impact. It means you’re more engaged and hyper-aware of what’s happening around you. I think that in storytelling, the key is always empathy, so we’re thinking about how to create empathy and how to create a sense of vulnerability.

In PSFK Labs’ research for its newest report, they found that you can experiment with new conventions of storytelling, with more tools to develop short-form narratives that work within the context of VR that are much different to traditional mediums. Koblin says:

There’s obviously no framing, so you really have to come up with different mechanisms for guiding attention for creating an experience, which is exciting. Actually, a lot of the things people have thought about are already in theater, and in set design, and other forms of exhibition design, so virtual reality is becoming an interesting cross-field of exploration.

What place does this next frontier in storytelling have in new and existing markets? Read how content is influencing the future of the industry, along with a more comprehensive analysis on virtual reality’s growing trends, in the PSFK Virtual Reality Debrief.


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Image: Eyeo Festival | CC | Image altered and cropped

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