By Tristan K., age 11, California
Rain or Shine, Nexus Studios’ wonderful interactive Virtual Reality (VR) experience, is a Google interactive Spotlight Story available on YouTube 360 and on the Google Spotlight Stories app, and also on YouTube Kids. Director Felix Massie says, “Google Spotlight Stories has meant developing content in a completely new way to create something truly unique, that can change each time you view it, yet remain the same story. In essence, Google Spotlight Stories is another world viewable via your phone.”
I was so excited to look at this new type of technology using VR. It was an amazing interactive VR short. A young girl, named Ella, gets a new pair of sunglasses, and she is determined to wear them. However, when she puts them on, a raincloud appears above her. As this rain cloud tries to destroy her day, she keeps trying to make her day worthwhile.
This VR short was a lot different from any other movie or clip I have ever watched before. Because it used VR, I did not just have one view of the character or scene, I could look all around. I had a 360-view and I could look up and down, too. I could totally control what I saw. According to the producer of the movie, this technology is new because “it creates a new level of interactivity with gaze based interaction in which the viewer experiences the story in the first person with the ability to subtly alter how the narrative unfolds merely by the way they view it.”
I enjoyed being able to see the movie from different perspectives. The VR film made it possible to see everything that was happening around the main character. This made me feel like I was able to control what I was seeing, giving me the perception as though I was actually in the film. I experienced a new type of closeness that I was able to feel towards the main character, and the characters around them.
The film put me in the shoes of the main character. So when Ella was excited that she had new sunglasses, I could imagine myself getting equally excited over getting a new skateboard. And when Ella put the sunglasses on and a cloud with rain came over her, ruining her day, I could also imagine myself wanting to ride the skateboard, but not being able to because it was raining.
Being able to control what I saw made it a lot easier to get into the film because it was interactive. It gave me the idea that this was actually happening to me. I could see all my friends run away because they didn’t want to be caught under the cloud, and then I could turn and look behind me at the empty park.
The new technology used in this VR short is an exciting option for viewing a short or movie as it gives you a different perspective. I would recommend it to everyone.
If you want to check it out, head over to YouTube.