ElseVR, a Mixed Reality channel, is a disruptive idea in narrative nonfiction and journalism.
It brings extraordinary and urgent stories to Virtual Reality (VR), granting the audience an entry “into” the story. By shattering the barrier between the viewer and the subject, VR has the power to elicit enquiry and empathy. Published online as a quarterly, each story facilitates collaborations between formidable filmmakers, writers and designers to amplify the power of narrative.
The magazine is the non-fiction VR platform from Memesys Culture Lab.
Memesys Culture Lab
Memesys Culture Lab is a cinema and new media studio at the intersection of science, philosophy and culture. We aim to interpret and demystify current breakthroughs in our understanding of the self and the universe, by actively participating in cinema, literature, pedagogy, technology, art, scientific and philosophical research, and actions of significant social impact.
Filmmaker. Philosopher. Innovator.
Anand is a filmmaker and media producer deeply interested in philosophy, evolutionary psychology, innovation, design and magic, and occasionally dabbles in all of these. His last film, Ship of Theseus premiered at the TIFF in 2012, and received wide international acclaim. In November 2015, Anand founded the Memesys Culture Lab.
Editor in Chief
Khushboo recently co-directed the documentary film An Insignificant Man, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 2016. She also co-wrote Ship of Theseus. Her first short film Continuum was shown at various international film festivals.
Writer. Journalist. Educationist. Daydreamer.
Shubhangi has worked in the field of journalism, education, Human Rights and curation in the past. She joined Memesys Culture Lab after completing her first work of fiction. She has won two national Laadli awards for gender sensitive writing in the past, and was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship for creative writing, in the University of East Anglia.
Story-teller. Media-tech innovator. Futurist.
Co-founder of Memesys Culture Lab, Zain has dramatically influenced the Virtual Reality ecosystem coming from the Indian subcontinent, having designed state-of-the-art workflows and immersive grammatical tools for Mixed Reality. His expertise in storytelling, technology, narrative design, and ludology allow him to bridge the gap between technology and effective storytelling.
Head of Design
Visual artist. Innovator. Entrepreneur. Lover of the ocean.
Shirin is the Co-Founder of Clap Global and a Creative Director at Memesys Culture Lab.
Previously, she worked as an advertising creative innovating in brand building, graphic design, installations, typography and performances. Shirin believes that creative work should either solve a problem, enlighten, change social perceptions or simply entertain.
Along the way, she has won numerous national and international awards for her work, including the Cannes Design Gold.
Shone Satheesh combines his interest in the written word with the ever-evolving vocabulary of visual culture to push the boundaries of story-telling. He has worked in the media industry for close to a decade, at places like The Indian Express and Tehelka, among others.
Get in touch with us at email@example.com
Head Office : Mumbai, India
Memesys Culture Lab, 30, Aaram Nagar 2, Versova, Mumbai 61.
Virtual Reality Journalism
The first and most obvious idea that creators have while think of a VR piece is that of a spooky horror or thriller. But the real strength of VR lies not in trapping you in the creator’s world, but immersing you in an experience you wouldn’t otherwise have had. A creator can choose to take you around the world to spaces, events and people that affect your world, even though you have no direct access to them.
Virtual reality journalism shows you the world like never before. It creates a sense of empathy and urgency that is otherwise lost in print or regular video. By wrapping the world around you, storytellers have been using VR journalism to narrate gripping and engaging stories that are very difficult to tell. Virtual reality journalism is being adopted by news studios worldwide in a bid to create time capsules of current events which are of high cultural importance. This kind of immersive journalism wouldn’t have been possible if virtual reality and journalism didn’t share a common singular motive – making the world more intimate, empathetic and aware.
Immersive journalism is defined as a style of journalism which allows viewers to experience the events and situations reported in documentary films and news mediums first-hand, using immersion and 3D technologies to directly engage audiences with the unfolding event.
The journalist Nonny de la Peña is recognized as one of the pioneers of immersive journalism. She describes her mission as telling real, harsh stories using just VR glasses, in order to create deeper empathy in her viewers. If they are able to experience overhead gunfire and surrounding chaos in a Syrian landscape first-hand, they’ll realize the scope and reality of these tragedies, making it more than just a recurring headline.
Virtual reality makes these experiences deeply personal and experiential, allowing people to consume news outside of the existing forms of saturated media, be it print or television or broadcast news outlets.
Another closely related tool and technology is augmented reality, brought to public attention by the massively popular mobile game ‘Pokemon Go’. However, beyond video games and entertainment, the technology also has a wide scope in augmented reality journalism.
There exists great potential for augmented reality to be used in the coverage of live events such as sports and conferences. Field sports like football, basketball and cricket can have overhead statistics displayed for players or tactical overviews on the field using augmented reality. Political events and conferences are also ripe for the technology – imagine if important statistics, contextual information, and roles and responsibilities of leaders and delegates could be displayed on screen during the news coverage. These are just a few ways in which augmented reality is manifesting itself and with the technology being in its nascent stage, far greater and broader applications are on the way.