Tribeca’s Storyscapes projects used technology to explore blindness, solitary confinement and more

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As the Tribeca Film Festival winds down in New York City, we’re highlighting one of the most tech-driven parts of the event — Storyscapes, which showcased 10 works of virtual reality and interactive storytelling.

At Storyscapes, I talked to the creators of Notes on Blindness (which won the juried Storyscapes award), 6×9, The Argus Project and Network Effect, among others. One word that came up repeatedly was “empathy” — the idea of using technology to really put you in someone else’s shoes and make you feel what they feel.

For example, Jarrad Vladich of The Mill (the special effects house that worked with the Guardian on 6×9) said that the goal was “to create empathy” for prisoners who have gone through solitary confinement. Arnaud Colinart, one of the creators of Notes on Blindness, said he wanted to “use the potential of empathy in VR” to help the sighted audience understand some of the issues around blindness.

It’s also worth noting that even if you missed the event, many of these projects are also available through web versions, or at least have a website where you can find out more info — I’ve linked to them above.