Virtual Storytelling: Taking Your Favorit Epics To The Next Level

Jun 12, 2024 by S. R. Watts

As a fan of Star Trek, I have always been fascinated by some of the technology that is featured in the show’s long history. From the food replicators to the transporters, it seems that Gene Roddenberry had no shortage of ideas for gadgets that could potentially improve our everyday lives. However, as a storyteller, I was most intrigued by the show’s use of holographic technology, especially when it came to creating interactive stories that people could literally escape into. No more having to watch your favorite characters embark on a quest to save the kingdom from the dark lord, now you can be that hero and experience all that the author intended you to feel. Such technology was certainly a fantasy all on its own, one that I dreamed would become a reality one day during my lifetime.

Sadly, I fear that scientists and engineers will not get that far by the time I am destined to leave this world. Holographic technology may have come a long way since I was a kid, but it certainly isn’t near what it needs to be to turn my favorite stories into a fully immersive experience. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t other technologies that aren’t worth exploring. One in particular that comes to mind is virtual reality (VR), in which a headset and a body suit can help simulate a digital environment where I can go on a whimsical journey through an enchanted forest or fly through a sea of stars on wings of light.

But such immersive storytelling doesn’t have to be limited to a headset and a body suit. Augmented reality (AR) is a division of technology that has come a long way to make certain franchises more popular than ever before. Just look at Pokemon Go and how AR made the long-running anime’s premise of capturing pocket monsters a reality for so many people with smartphones. Such applications could also be used to help certain genres find new avenues to tell their stories, such as those dealing with the paranormal in which AR can help you see the spirits of the dead wandering around us. 

Of course, VR and AR require such clunky pieces of tech in order to tell their stories. What if there was a small device we could implant inside our brains that would allow us to experience any environment, any sensation we want by simply imagining it? Those Neuralink chips that Elon Musk is creating could very well be what makes such a fully immersive experience possible. There would be no need for other pieces of tech: just you, your brain, and a microchip to experience all that the imagination had to offer.

Such possibilities are exciting to think about. However, like any good thing, they can be taken too far if we’re not careful. We must remember that while our favorite stories allow us a temporary escape from reality, it’s within the real world that we find opportunities to grow and develop as human beings. Stories can teach us great life lessons, but not to the extent that getting out into society and interacting with people and physical environments can. In fact, to become a good storyteller yourself, you must be willing to live life outside of your favorite stories, for it’s only by having real experiences that we gain the depth and insight that truly great artists are known for.

In conclusion, it’s essential to know that technology can have many wonderful applications in storytelling, especially in this new age full of digital and augmented reality. As storytellers, we must be willing to push the boundaries of the art form to expand the way people experience it, thus helping to expand their minds and deepen their understanding of life and the universe. Most importantly, though, we must be willing to step outside the stories we love and walk through the crucible of life from time to time, for that is the only way we can learn what needs to be known to accomplish all that we set out to do as storytellers.