Attention Span and Virtual Reality Films
I have been thinking about how people's attention span are getting shorter and shorter. (Explained in my previous blog post) How do we stay focused for a long time now? For example, what about when watching a film? Cinematic techniques are used to leave clues in one scene to lure the viewer to the next. Many elements such as camera angles, subtle hints in props, lighting all contribute in guiding the gaze throughout the film. It is interesting to see the emergence of virtual reality films these days. There are both fictional and non-fictional films available in VR. Even NYTimes announced it will be providing news stories through its own VR cardboard headset. Current Virtual Reality headsets allow viewers to see their environments in 360 degrees. Unlike traditional films, we know everything that is within our “visual” realm in virtual environments. Instead of waiting for that camera to slowly turn and show the rest of the setting, we can simply turn our heads on our own will. Are these VR films weakening people's imagination skills? What kind of visual clues could VR films use to encourage the viewer to move?