In the virtual reality frame I set up, what are the objects that could possibly catch the attention of this eye? To be more precise, which of those object(s) do I, the storyteller, want this eye to see?
“Wait!” I alert myself. “Don’t rush to give the answers!”
My preparatory role to scripting a spatial experience starts right here.
Restrain. Dig a bit deep. Become a bit of a psychologist. Play the role of a behaviorist. Be willing to get into the shoes of a philosopher even, if needed. Read the human mind basically.
Remember… the eye is free to look wherever it wants. I don’t have any control whatsoever on that unconditional freedom. That’s the very ‘dangerous’ premise of virtual reality. The eye can choose to look at anything and be led accordingly. ‘Cause, it (read: the viewer) wants to make its own story. It wants to be in full control of the stories it makes.
But I, the storyteller, should be in greater control. I should control my viewer’s control. How? By manipulating their reflex to work in my favor. ‘Cause, I do know that attention happens on reflex. When I drive, for instance, my eyes automatically dart to people who are about to bolt onto the road. And, my legs instantly – almost on reflex – get ready to play between the clutch and the brake.
Cut back to my viewer. How do I work on their reflex in a way the whole experience appears totally natural to them?
By smartly playing on points of interest (POI) – also called agencies – that would spontaneously grab their attention… on reflex.
All this goes to say that I should keep my viewer’s attention in absolute control. I just can’t afford to let it waver. If I do, the eye will start darting around, looking at things I don’t want it to see. And, I immediately lose the plot. Well… almost!
Okay… let me say I’ve succeeded in making the viewer participate in the story the way I want them to. What next?
Let me get on with penning the next post.
Till then… ciao!