Drawing has never been one of my strong points, so please excuse the potato quality drawings.
This is the full concept of my first idea. I’ve pictured the subject playing the First Person Shooter game, Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Stated in my communication objectives, I plan on the room being quite dark, lit by either the screen itself or also a dim lamp, but I couldn’t really draw that.
This shows a close up of the left side of my image. To show that the subject has little care for their real life and escapes into a virtual one, I thought overdue bills and notices of being take to collection agencies could work well. After drawing these images I thought of putting in a vodka bottle or some other kind of alcohol next to these letters to portray the subjects unhappiness with their real life.
For this side of the image I thought the use of a photo frame that had been turned face down would display that the subject has chosen to block out his real-life family and friends in favour of their virtual contacts. The use of various fast-food packaging would further demonstrate the subjects lack of care for the real world, including their body.
This thumbnail and the one after portray my secondary idea that I find to be the weaker of the two. This idea features two different backgrounds, one real-life and one virtual, displaying the subjects two different environments. The real-life side (on the left) would feature trash and fast-food packaging like the first and show a run down environment, with the curtains in the room being tattered and torn. The virtual side (right) pictures the subject in a survival environment, inspired by the zombie-survival genre of games (DayZ, H1Z1 etc.), in which they are seen to be more comfortable.
If I were to go ahead with this idea, I want to portray a distinct difference in the subjects expression between the two environments. On the left the subject would be pictured to be physically tired (wrinkles, bags under eyes, bloodshot eyes) where their virtual character would be the complete opposite and full of energy.
I have my doubts about this idea, it would be fun to carry out, but I worry that the idea I aim to represent would not come off as strong enough as my first idea. Also, trying to emulate a game in real-life may be too difficult.
The article I chose on virtual reality gaming highlights many social impacts on individuals. I believe going in the direction of communicating the harmful effects from the immersion in virtual reality would be the most impact-full and visually interesting. The two main effects I would focus on would be addiction and escapism as I believe these are the strongest two present within the article.
One idea that I have had is to portray contrasting “realities” of an individual side by side, one real life and one virtual. In the real life section of the image I want feelings of despair, depression and isolation to be present. I imagine a gloomy room slightly trashed with rubbish all over the place. I’ve had trouble picturing how I would compose the virtual half of the image seeing as it has to be photo-real. A possibility would be to emulate the concept of the zombie survival games DayZ or H1Z1, with the subject shown in a apocalyptic woodland scenario with zombies seen in the background. I think the use of a blueish tint to this part of the image would imitate the colouring used within computer monitors, emphasising the virtual representation.
Another idea that I have come up with to present the idea is seeing the subject leaving behind his reality to escape into the virtual world. The way I pictured this idea was to be positioned behind the subject at their computer desk and witness the lack of care for their real environment. Again, the use of rubbish, such as takeaway wrappers, and scattered clothing would be beneficial in illustrating this perspective. For lighting I imagine it being poorly lit, either by the subject’s computer screens or a dim lamp.
These are my two strongest ideas at the moment, I am still trying to fine-tune others as well as these to get a better understanding of where I see this project going.
With companies such as Steam and Oculus bringing out 3D virtual reality products (SteamVR and the Oculus Rift), I decided to focus on the idea of using virtual reality as a form of escapism from everyday life and how it can both positively and negatively affect it.
After combing through multiple articles, I managed to find one by The Atlantic (part of the Atlantic Media group), “The Good and the Bad of Escaping to Virtual Reality” published on the 18th of February, 2015, that outlines how the development of virtual reality is both exciting and appealing in the opportunities it provides to explore parallel universes and fantasies. It also outlines the extremes virtual reality can be taken to, including the point of addiction and death.
The ideas of social isolation and escapism within the article are strongly represented and help create a vivid direction I wish to take my project in, putting emphasis on these issues.