Narratopia

Worlds between worlds

Narratopia is an indirect result of pushing Dollhouse 1.0 towards a virtual reality experience. The idea that anyone could play the part of the voyeur or the part of the doll herself morphed into the idea of giving anyone the ability to model their own dollhouse, and to tell their associated video or story.

At the VR Hackathon at ITP at NYU last summer, I pitched my initial 3D Dollhouse model, imagining neighborhoods of crowd-sourced dollhouses and photospheres. My weekend team consisted of artists: an author, a UI designer/developer an actor, and an visual artist. We created a 3D universe full of their images, wrapped around volumetric objects that could be viewed in mobile VR. Positional audio was prototyped and triggered when the dollhouse was 'approached' in 3D. It was a success except for the final reveal in which the airbook we presented on couldn't render the WebGL code fast enough. I think we could have won otherwise. This 'neighborhood' of stories I created then is the kind of universe I am now imagining for the 'storyworld' or 'storyverse' for journalists.