How can virtual reality be used to tell personal stories? To what extent does it lend itself to autobiographical content?
Filet is a virtual reality experience that tells a story in three parts, featuring the beginning, middle, and end of my time with my best friend during one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. The experience is told through low poly graphics made for distribution on mobile phones as users visit the countryside where I biked to get my dog, the compound in which we lived, and the field where he ultimately passed away.
Trying to explain what life is like in a rural West African village has been a challenge since I first began my time in the Peace Corps where I taught English, hosted after-school clubs, organized regional and national events, worked with community health partners, and lived essentially as my host village did. When telling stories about my village I always felt like so much was missing: the goats that would be bleating in the background, the sweat that was permanently running down my back, what the word “school” really meant in this context. And so I set out to create an immersive experience that told a piece of the story better than I could with words. I settled on a narrative highlighting another piece that felt that was missing from my stories: my dog and friend Filet, who was almost always at my side, following me everywhere I went.