Storytelling in VR: How VR turned Red Riding Hood into a Samurai
Once upon a time, in a charming village on the edge of a dark, twisted forest, Little Red Riding Hood was preparing to visit her ill grandmother. She opened her cupboard and took out A) The basket of apples, B) Some freshly cut flowers, C) Pepper spray, D) A Samurai sword and set off on her way.
Of course, we all know this isn’t how the story goes. If Red had been a bit more prepared and taken a sword with her into those forsaken woods, she might well have bested the beast, before he got the chance to gobble up poor old granny. With VR, Little Red Riding Hood could have been a Samurai warrior. If she’d made different choices and influenced the story with her own actions, she’d be having tea and scones on a wolf skin rug right about now.
The Future of Storytelling in VR
With the advent of VR and immersive storytelling, the linear narrative is on its way out. We no longer want to just witness the story and watch as Red skips happily and obliviously along the path picking flowers for her grandmother. We want the option to intervene – to pick up that sword and carve our own way through the narrative, Samurai style.
We’re still at the start of the VR narrative journey but the option to expand beyond the classic one strand story is now becoming more than just a distant dream. There’s the scope to experience narrative from different perspectives, interact with characters in first person view and manipulate the environment to get outcomes with virtual consequences.
Founder of the Future of Storytelling Festival, Charles Melcher, said “We are using code as the canvas”, and that’s precisely why the straightforward story can only keep evolving https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2016/oct/12/virtual-reality-future-of-storytelling.
In a world with so many tech opportunities open to us and a medium which puts the viewer right at the heart of the story and actively challenges them to change it, VR code-makers are the new Brothers Grimm.
Not only are non-linear stories starting to creep up on us but some are already in full, virtual colour. The landscape for telling stories is changing and savvy brands are starting to offer more than just the one perspective to their content. Just look at Samsung’s collaborative experience with BBH.
Together, they crafted the Samsung ‘Bedtime VR Stories’ – a brand new way of bringing those tales of exploration and adventure, that we imagined so vividly in our heads as kids, to life. Wherever you are in the world, both parent and child can plug in to a colourful, characterful, world and virtually guide each other through the story. It transcends the typical narrative and offers up the chance to shape the adventure yourself, all in a whimsical little world.
Samurai or Snack
Back to Little Red Riding Hood and the outcome’s already looking a little rosier for granny. As the girl approached the cottage in the woods, smoke wafting from the chimney, she held the samurai sword close and watched as the wiley wolf crept closer to the door.
“Who is it?” called a sweet, old voice from inside the cottage. The wolf puffed up his chest and poised himself, ready to pounce on the unsuspecting elderly lady. From behind him, a younger voice replied “It’s me granny, sorry I’m late” and in one fell swoop of a Samurai sword, the wolf was no more. In the world of VR, with so many potential alts and endings, the linear narrative line could be changed forever. Just remember to choose the Samurai sword.
Can you survive Little Red Riding Hood? Play through our VR map below to see if you’re a Samurai or a snack.