Holodeck at Newhouse Part of Virtual Reality Storytelling Project
Dan Pacheco, Peter A. Horvitz Endowed Chair in Journalism Innovation at the Newhouse School, has built a holodeck in his office. The concept was first introduced during an old Star Trek episode, but technology now exists allowing journalists an opportunity to tell their stories in a unique way.
(Read Professor Pacheco’s blog regarding how this relates to journalism here: http://journovation.syr.edu/2014/04/30/the-holodeck-is-here-how-will-it-influence-storytelling/)
(here is a transcription of the story:)
“So basically what we are doing is bringing technology from gaming industry. So in the 3D game software I get bunch of objects. Buildings, trees, and you can create an environment. Whatever environment is, It can be something completely fantasy, it can also be something very real.
We can take that to next step. We have a connect center. It can tell you where you are in a room. That becomes your game control. That’s a totally new form of storytelling. I don’t even know call it storytelling. You know, maybe call it story experiencing. Where story is necessary for user’s organization, it could be for a science class. You can let someone potential walk into camera reaction and see what’s happening all around them in really explode thing. We know, people can experience something, that’s very hands on, and it’s more likely to remember it. But more importantly, they can understand better. Journalism, for documentary film, this is very powerful way to help someone to understand, what is likely of someone else shoes. You can literally walk into someone’s shoes using this technology.
Hunger in Los Angeles, in that case, we need a filmmaker to come up here and capture this. Here in United States, people are hungry. Spent a few days, getting a lot of audio, getting a lot of video, getting photos- which she actually recreated this, in a 3D environment. It’s using avatars and you know, buildings that were recreated in 3D modeling software. Somebody was standing in line so long and the elderly man had diabetes he fell down and went to seizure and nobody helped him. Some people were trying to cut in line, take advantage of the chaos, right? Cause they are also hungry. So when you go through that experience, it is very interesting. It’s very different from just reading about, you know, people who are hungry, homeless, or refugees, right? You are actually there in that space.
As Journalist, we are framing the story for our readers often times. But now with this type of tool, this type of interface, we can create a world for someone explore it. And they have freedom to put their own perspective and edit it.”