For this blog post, I decided to focus on the future of VR and its applications to children. As virtual reality technology becomes more prominent, we can predict that children will be getting specialized tech/software that is made specifically for them. This can assist with learning, entertainment, or behavior. For this assignment I chose to review the video “Three Pigs VR Story for kids” published on youtube by cTa VR Play. The video was published in 2016 and currently has 266,359 views.
This video takes the story of the 3 little pigs, where each pig builds a house out of a different material only to have the “big blue wolf” come and huff and puff and blow their house down, and lets the viewer navigate and watch as the story takes place. Now the first thing I noticed with this video is that you actually have no control over the viewer. No matter where you look, you still face the same direction. However, when thinking about how children use VR, I believe this is okay, as they might need less freedom and more restriction in where they can look to make the story effective. In kind of a “Dora the Explorer” fashion, the narrator asks the viewer to do certain tasks “Can you help find some straw?” and after a few seconds the camera will move over to the straw, and you get some sort of praise, “Spamtastic!”
We are introduced to each character, Spamela, Hamgelina and Baconetta, individually, and the story moves along after each pig has been foiled by the big blue wolf. We meet the big blue wolf only when each pig completes their house. The Big Blue Wolf is the character that really drives the story, because once he blows a pigs house down, we meet new characters, and the story can continue.
This story was more narrative driven than emotion, location, or experience, however I am not the target audience for this story, so a child’s answers might differ more than mine. However, we are only introduced to each character for a split second, and really do not get to know anything about them besides what materials they use to build their house. So this story just uses a classic narrative to move along.
I believe that this story was unnecessary for VR, and seeing that you are not in control of the environment/movements, I am not even sure if I consider this to be a virtual reality story. I understand that children may need assistance moving through virtual reality stories, however without them being in control of anything it is just watching a Youtube video very close to your face. I believe that there could have been option to control the environment, however, I believe the target audience for this video may be around the 2 year-old age group, so that is up for debate.
I believe that for what its worth this story is alright, it is something that you give your child to amuse them for a few minutes, and I’m sure all parents can appreciate that.