Pursuing change in fiction series: Virtual reality as a narrative strategy at the service of the viewer’s immersion

Adriana Paíno Ambrosio, M.ª Isabel Rodríguez Fidalgo

Abstract

Technological advances have changed the way that people create and consume entertainment products with new formulas that mix traditional and digital media. Television series are exploring forms that allow viewers to participate in the stories and create new experiences that end up converting them into co-creators of the content. Virtual reality (VR) is a new tool that will meet the demands of new generations of digital natives so that they can engage in a more active interaction with their favorite entertainment products. The viewer is not only going to be an essential part of the fictional universe, but will also be able to witness the recounted events in first person. This article aims to analyze six current examples of TV series where VR has been used to expand the narrative universe: Invisible (Samsung, JAUNT, CNÉ and 30 Ninjas), Halcyon (Syfy), Game of Thrones (HBO), Sleepy Hollow (FOX), The Simpsons (FOX) and El Ministerio del Tiempo (RTVE). The study intends to determine the function of the contents created in VR within the base narrative (episodes of the series) using a qualitative analysis methodology. This methodology will allow us to distinguish the main innovations introduced by this technology in connection with the viewer-users’ narration and consumption.

Keywords

virtual reality; VR; fiction series; immersion; first person

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