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The Space is the Story: Ethnographic Storytelling with XR

Nov 11

01:15 PM - 02:10 PM


"Where Am I? Why am I here? What does this mean?" Literary theorist Nicholas Burbules posed these as essential questions for those experiencing interactive and immersive media experiences. He argued that audiences should not only be asking themselves this, but should also be motivated to "do the work" of finding answers as they negotiate the spatially arranged content of interactive media experiences. This discussion panel will explore the use of space in XR storytelling. Particularly, how can we leverage new and emerging technologies to harness the potential of real, conceptual and virtual spaces to tell engaging ethnographic stories in new modes? This inter-disciplinary discussion will touch on insights from fields as diverse as anthropology, human-centered design, filmmaking, and emotional geography to investigate how XR authorship must not only navigate the spatial dimensions of human relationships and communities within our narratives, but also the spatial relationships between viewers/users ("vusers") and the ethnographic content they engage in XR experiences. As an emergent field, XR storytelling is at a critical juncture in its development, and this conversation will hopefully help map out the contours of what matters - and what makes current trends in immersive XR experiences such a unique opportunity in the history of telling stories about people and communities.


Founder , Thatmiddlechild Productions
CEO , Novaby
Chair, Department of Anthropology , CSU Long Beach

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