Henry and Dear Angelica in VR

For our first week in Worlds on a Wire we had to look at a couple pieces in virtual reality with the Oculus and write some thoughts.

I first watched Dear Angelica which is absolutely beautiful. The whimsical stylized paintings flow from one scene to the next with seamless movements, though I chose the seated option and the fact that there were still objects directly behind me making me crane my head all the way around was pretty uncomfortable. I must admit I’m also much more of a gamer than a movie buff and the entire time I desperately wanted to touch and interact with the scene especially as it would get so close to me. At times it felt like the world was teasing me, seeming as if it were interactive when I was really just a bystander.

Henry, on the other hand, was much more interesting despite its lack of interaction. Perhaps because I did not have to crane my neck as much as it kept most of the action in front of me, allowing me to easily enjoy the story. I also enjoyed the non-verbal storytelling better; it was far more immersive witnessing a scene and making my own judgments rather than being told exactly what is happening every step of the way. Not to say this can’t be good, as we will later play The Stanley Parable and it and its successor The Beginner’s Guide are amazing walking simulators games that utilize relatively linear narration, though they offer just enough choice for me to still feel invested in interacting with the work. I wish even in Dear Angelica I could have touched the wisps of color around me as the story kept going.

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