Where Thoughts Go is an intimate, interactive Virtual Reality narrative and magical world full of non-fictional, user generated stories. A new genre of narrative orchestrated by Award-winning Creator, Lucas Rizzotto, Where Thoughts Go takes you on an introspective journey as you explore personal audio-recordings left by other users in the form of sleeping creatures.
Title: Where Thoughts Go (Canadian Premiere)
Director: Lucas Rizzotto
Format: Interactive VR, Oculus Rift
Running Time: 24m
Artist’s statement: “Where Thoughts Go” is a virtual world that visitors can enter to explore personal thoughts of others in the form of creatures and leave their own for others to find. Part experimental narrative and part anonymous social network, it induces users into a deep state of introspection, allowing them to emotionally connect with people they’ll never meet and face some difficult questions about what’s truly important to them.
“Where Thoughts Go was created with the desire of building a social VR experience that showcases the emotional complexity all humans share. It turns users into thoughtful listeners and speakers through its 5 chapters, serving as an ever-growing archive of personal memories. In this experience, users share dreams, advice, fears and experiences in an intimate social experience unlike any other.
“There are only two rules all visitors must follow: be truthful and enter this world completely alone (with no one else in the room). It is by the very definition of the word a single player experience. Optimally, the project is to be displayed in a closed off, sound proof booth, allowing users to feel truly alone. Internal testing has consistently shown that users are more open and thoughtful in their messages and interactions when they know they’re not being observed.
“Players travel through 5 stages, each themed after a period of life reflected by the time of day, the landscapes, thought creatures and color schemes. The questions at the center of each stage also reflect characteristics of the time period they represent: childhood, for example, asks about childhood dreams, while the youth stage asks about the first time users fell in love.
“All questions were designed to retrieve something deeply personal about each user, defining them as a character for themselves and everyone else who happens to stumble upon their messages in the future. The questions are thematically varied and allow us to explore a wide range of emotions, giving us the opportunity to learn about the various facets of the voices that accompany us, while also allowing us to explore ourselves as individuals through the experience.
“‘Where Thoughts Go’ is a dynamic world that grows larger with each session and every user experience is unique. A robust curation system allows us to feature messages we’d like to get heard more often and also protects the world from any occasional form of trolling – although testing has shown that the intimate nature of the experience makes users far less likely to troll, even though it’s 100% anonymous.
“We believe this to be a deeply innovative project with a noble mission of connecting strangers emotionally, showing what the internet (and social media) can be when we put the emotions of humans at its center. It is a world that fosters intimacy, truth and openness, blending new technologies to create a new type of personal narrative.”