One of the major selling points for creating virtual reality experiences is emotional impact. VR has proven powerful in terms of affecting our feelings, for instance making us happy, curious, anxious, scared, or excited depending on intention. The last thing you want to do is inadvertently trigger people’s sentiments in unintended ways due to an oversight, or direct attention away from your main point, which is why affect must be thought into every step of the experience’s creation process.
When we think of stories, we could mention at least a dozen different categories within which we classify our stories, and multiple ways of construction; i.e. short stories, novels, graphic novels, journals, etc. And those were just written examples. There is also audio-visual storytelling, theatre, and many more. Not least, video games. Naturally, I shall be talking about video games.
One of the great challenges when designing video games is not merely to design a game that is interesting and fun for the first one or two hours of play, since this is helped along massively by the novelty of the game, the world, the story, etc. Novelty drives much of the excitement and curiosity. But what then when this extends into 10+ hours of play? What happens when the novelty wears off? That is where a game must truly prove its mettle.
Sometimes in order to understand how video games affect you, you have to look at the real world. Horror games in virtual reality appear to affect people a lot, and it may very well be connected to levels of immersion.