XR Stories supports five pioneering studentship projects

XR Stories has funded and supported five pioneering and innovative MSc projects through the XR Stories studentship scheme. The projects which have now been completed were developed in partnership with the University of York and XR Stories’ industry partners. 

The first project Armana3D, explored the history of the Ancient Egyptian City of Akhetaten at the modern-day archaeological site, Armana, through a VR tour. Paul Docherty, the MSc student who led this project, created a VR tour of the site from the Armana3D model that he created in 2000. This project demonstrates how archaeology can repurpose older 3D digital models of archaeological sites and transform them into modern VR reconstructions through interactive storytelling.  

The second project developed a new state-of-the-art immersive audio technology system (VIVA-NMP) that enables lag free-audio communication over the internet. The technology allows individuals to make music together in real time within a shared virtual space and reduces the delay experienced between two users. The project provides a solution to remote group music performances and shows the potential to improve the future of networked musical performances. 

Another MSc project explored how persuasive interactive film, in conjunction with social media and second screen applications, can be used to discuss complex and important issues. Rebecca Gallon, the student who led this project, created an interactive film where a teenage girl is subjected to cyber-bullying by her peers. Audience members watching the film can use their mobile phones to affect the outcome of the story. 

The project illustrates how interactive media can be used to understand and reflect on the impact of social media on individuals. Rebecca plans to create a longer version of the film to help both teenagers and parents understand and fight cyber-bullying. 

Projects of Worth, another MSc project supported by XR Stories, investigated the connection to stories in video games and how stories create deep personal meaning to players. The project developed a game design framework that was used to create a prototype game illustrating ideas of meaningfulness. 

This project shows that video games, like other forms of creativity such as art, literature or film, have the capacity to evoke meaning and provide fulfilling experience for players. 

The final project, Stories in the Sky VR is an immersive storytelling experience focusing on the Park Hill flats in Sheffield. The 360 degree video tells the stories of Park Hill life, from previous and current residents who discuss the sense of community, its reputation, facilities and redevelopment.Stories in the Sky demonstrates how immersive technologies are valuable tools to communicate history and heritage and can be used as part of heritage-led community engagement. 

You can find out more about these projects and the other ventures we’re funding on our projects page.

Published on 19 April 2021

Filed under: Digital storytelling, Funding news, R&D Projects, Research, XR Stories