SILICON VALLEY, California – May 27, 2020 – Three experts in virtual reality, Erika Barraza, Jessica Kantor and Eve Weston, gave a coordinated talk at Augmented World Expo, which Forbes calls “the most essential AR/VR conference.” Their panel, “THE WATCHWOMEN LIVE: EXPERT XR NARRATIVE TECHNIQUES & ANALYSIS, was broadcast digitally at 9am PST as part of this year’s online conference format. During the hour, they launched The Look Club, an entry point into immersive narrative that caters equally to VR pros, immersive-theatre-goers, and newcomers.
The Look Club, online in beta at TheLook.Club, aggregates and catalogs immersive narrative experiences, making them easier to find and access. Think of it as a next-level IMDB-meets-TV Guide for immersive stories. Among the data listed for entries in this searchable database are genre, duration, and platform/location. It also categorizes experiences by XR (immersive) type, i.e. whether an experience is:
HMD – in a head-mounted device, aka. VR headset, like Beat Saber
LBE – location-based entertainment, like Dreamscape’s The Blu
IRL – in real life, like Sleep No More
2DS – on a two-dimensional screen, like Netflix’s Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Additionally, TheLook.Club is the first site to incorporate the taxonomy for immersive experiences published this year in the double-blind peer-reviewed Handbook of Research on the Global Impacts and Roles of Immersive Media, to which Kantor and Weston both contributed. The taxonomy picks up where terminology for books and movies leaves off: books have narrative point of view, movies have narrative and visual point of view; immersive experiences have both and also effectual and experiential points of view.
The language of this taxonomy, which Weston debuted at AWE 2019 and has been lauded by Stanford University and the Brown Institute for Media Innovation, allows for better discussion of immersive experiences. And sharing this language broadly democratizes immersive media. For that reason, The Look Club uses this taxonomic language in The Look Club digital series, which is like Siskel-and-Ebert-for-VR with a Tina Fey sensibility. In each episode, our hosts discuss one immersive experience, share a clip and have a conversation around the effectiveness of that particular immersive narrative. In this way, the digital series gives audiences on any screen a peek into what’s happening in virtual reality and other immersive venues. In the pilot episode, Notes on Notes on Blindness, which premiered today at AWE, the hosts discuss the VR experience, Notes on Blindness, in which the author John Hull narrates his experience of going blind and, “in a VR headset,” as Kantor says in the pilot, “you’re seeing what he’s describing, kind of like how he’d be experiencing it.”
The Look Club was warmly received by the online audience with rave reviews coming in from as far as United Arab Emirates and Germany. In the session chat, Jacquelyn Morie, PhD, scientist, educator and co-editor of Handbook of… Immersive Media remarked regarding The Look Club, “This is so needed.”
ABOUT THE LOOK CLUB
Erika Barraza (founder/host) is an experienced virtual reality documentarian, actress, and social entrepreneur. She has filmed in war and gang torn countries and launched media companies and global programs to empower and support vulnerable communities. She promotes tech as a propellant for human potential.
Eve Weston (founder/host) is an expert on immersive narrative who’s spoken at Stanford University and the ATAS, home of the Emmys. She is writer/director of the award-winning world’s first 360VR sitcom, The BizNest. Other stuff she’s written has been published, won awards, aired on TV, and spawned an international dance craze on YouTube.
Jessica Kantor (founder/host) is highly sought after for her work in virtual and Augmented reality, with her work premiering at film festivals all over the globe. Jessica produces digital content, writes immersive stories and directs across every medium.
SOCIAL MEDIA & WEBSITE
To access digital assets, including photos and extended bios of founders, visit this FOLDER.
Erika Barraza email@example.com 925-262-7619