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Paul Raphael Says One Major Challenge of VR Is Pulling in Viewer “Gracefully”

Paul Raphael, co-founder of Felix & Paul Studios, talks to Tech Radar about their latest piece, Nomads, and what the VR pioneers have learned so far from their work in the medium.

“Up until now storytelling has been representative; you’re telling the audience what they should be seeing or feeling,” says Raphael. “You are being told something that happened in the past. Yes, you are immersed in the sense of being taken on a ride or an emotional journey, but with virtual reality, the feeling is always that this is happening right now. It goes way beyond the technical challenges. It’s almost this philosophical shift about what it means to tell a story because you’re really putting the viewer in the center of it. We’ve always had the notion of suspension of disbelief, but this medium takes it to a whole other level because you are in the center of something that’s not real, but you’re trying to make the viewer forget that. You’re plunked in a physical space where they aren’t really there. It’s about finding ways to sort of gracefully pull in the viewer, whether in fiction or non-fiction. It’s really the biggest and most exciting challenge.”