A new University of Portsmouth project, which brings together virtual reality, motion capture and audience participation, is helping to provide a greater understanding of dementia.
‘Fatherland’ wowed audiences at the Creative XR Showcase, which took place at the Digital Catapult Centre in London, where it was shown to over 100 industry partners, commissioners, investors and members of the public.
The event was the culmination of the first stage of the project, which was submitted to the Creative XR fund last year, where it was selected from over 250 applicants. It was awarded £19,500 (of which £10,000 went directly to the University) to develop a prototype of the project, which was shown at the Creative XR Showcase event earlier this month.
Fatherland brings together virtual reality and real-time motion capture with audience participation and live audio and video projection to create a theatrical experience exploring dementia and disembodiment in the modern world.
It has been developed by a team from the University’s Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, consisting of Alex Counsell (Faculty Technical Adviser in the School of Creative Technologies), Adam Cleaver (3rd year Computer Games student), Marc Cook (alumni and current research assistant on PONToon), and Laura Doye (Lecturer in the School of Media and Performing Arts), in partnership with Ben Samuels and Juan Ayala from Limbik Theatre.
Alex Counsell said: “The overall response from potential investors and commissioners has been incredibly positive. We have a lot of follow up conversations and meetings to go through, to secure the next stage of the project to take this prototype to final product.
“The range of emotions and reactions from audiences to participants throughout the day was amazing, from laughter to tears. This is a testament to the creative ability of Ben, Juan and the University team who have managed to bring this together with cutting-edge technology to deliver something truly ground-breaking.”
As part of the Creative XR process, Fatherland has been automatically entered into a £350,000 funding pot from the Digital Catapult. The project team are bidding for £150,000 to take this project to the next stage, which is full production, and the outcome will be announced soon.