On Thursday, April 11, HI researchers will collaborate with Lance Weiler and Reboot Stories to produce an immersive and participatory narrative experience at Envision 2013, an annual event hosted by both the Independent Filmmaker Project and the United Nations Department of Public Information. The partnership brings together experts from the UN and NGOs with creative storytellers, filmmakers, and new media artists to develop new platforms for addressing social issues.
For HI, these emerging platforms present new opportunities to study how participants interact with social issue narratives. In the immersive narrative, My Sky is Falling (MSiF), participants explore a theatrical, narrative world. The story centers on the issue of the foster care system in the United States using science fiction metaphors. To understand the impact of this compelling and informative story, HI researches will analyze real-time user engagement data, which is collected as participants move through the experience wearing an Affectiva Q Sensor. This physiological data will be mapped against an evaluation framework that assesses changes in audience comprehension, attitude, and response. Our goal is to merge creative design with data science to measure the influence of innovative narratives on contemporary social issues.
The MSiF experience was initially created as a final project for the Columbia University graduate film course, Building Storyworlds for the 21st Century, in the Fall 2012 semester. Along with the Reboot team and other creative technologists, HI researchers helped the students to create the narrative by analyzing data from classroom exercises as well as designing frameworks for data collection and measurement of the final project.
MSiF will also run at the upcoming conference, DIY Days on April 27. Data and analysis from both events will be posted here.