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Don’t do VR, do what fits your story, say Cardiff creatives

Students at the University of South Wales demonstrate their own VR games.

CREATIVE Cardiff’s VRSW meetup, which brings together the city’s immersive creative cluster, came together for the second time last night, June 21, to network and explore virtual reality.

Kayleigh McLeod, who facilitated the event, introduced speakers from Orchard Media, Talespinners and the University of South Wales, where the quarterly event was held.

USW senior lecturer in music and sound, Stuart Jones, explained why immersive audio is more accessible today despite being around for 40 to 50 years – it’s cheaper and the tech is more portable.

But the same cannot be said for VR.

Students at the University of South Wales demonstrate their own VR games.

Students at the University of South Wales demonstrate their own VR games.

Keynote speaker Ian Thomas, director of Talespinners, a company that helps game producers develop their narrative, believes VR is “not dead, because it has never been alive”.

He said: “Virtual reality has not boomed because the price still needs to drop a lot. There are also a lot if people using VR because they feel they have to – not because they should. You should use whatever story telling method suits your story.

“VR shouldn’t be about presenting a story, it should be presenting a whole new world.”

Glenn Hapgood, business development manager at Orchard Media, said too many people are focusing on graphics and not the story.

He said: “The brain will believe the world if the narrative is good enough.

“Stop focussing on the look – it’s easier for us to sympathise with a cartoon than, say, a man with a beard, if you don’t have a beard!”

The cluster agreed that virtual reality was not about creating fidelity, but evoking emotion.

Audience members want to explore VR in healthcare, theatrical storytelling and journalism and were encouraged to network, pool together skills and collaborate.

The next VRSW meetup will be in September.

See live tweets from the event below:

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