“Tell a Tail” – 360 VR

“Tell a Tail” – The design of an interactive cinematic VR for animal welfare transmedia

Tell a Tail 360 is a Virtual Reality (VR) documentary, part of a larger transmedia project about animal welfare in Madeira island, created to educate, raise awareness and spread the love for the animals, targeting teenage audiences. The literature review and the context research surveys suggest that younger audiences are more likely to change their behaviours than adults. Moreover, the majority of people are interested in the topic of animal welfare (AW) although not always aware of its complexity (e.g., lack of responsibility of ownership or lack of education on proper animal treatment). Over several months, 360o footage was recorded showing different perspectives of the problem through contact with different stakeholders. Later, the footage was used in the design of an interactive VR documentary highlighting kennels’ conditions, Non-governmental organizations fieldwork, and the importance of providing primary care to pets. The user explores the story through different media sources inside the virtual world, such as social media posts, photography and audio. These interactive features provide users with the opportunity to unfold the story through their choices, promoting exploration and contemplation of the subject and were designed to increase audience engagement and agency in the experience. Through A/B user testing conducted with two groups of adolescents (in which one tested a non-VR version of the documentary and the other group the VR version), findings suggest that the immersive version generated greater interest and involvement in the problem addressed. This thesis project can provide new insights on how interactive and immersive content can engage the teenage audience to a more significant awareness of good animal welfare behaviours and other social problems.

Student: Tânia Andrade

Advisors: Valentina Nisi, Paulo Bala, Mara Dionisio

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Publications: ICIDS 2020 & ICEC 2020