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The Power of Virtual Reality is Immense Having the Potential to Change the World: Director Will, Shoguns Studios

Imagine teaching a child about the inner workings of a human body, allowing them to take the journey of a Red or White Blood Cell, that is racing through a person’s blood vessel. Rather than making a child understand the human body through a school textbook, wouldn’t actually being inside a body have a lasting impression on the child’s understanding? Sounds fascinating and thrilling right? Virtual reality is an alternate reality — an immersive 3D environment that replicates the physical world, and its experiences, in the digital format.

This is what Director Willard Appiah of Shoguns Studios has shared his opinion on, by shedding some light on the power of Virtual Reality and living in the Metaverse.

A sort of Virtual Reality started for Will in the 1980s when he was just a child. He didn’t actually have a VR head unit in the 80s, but he used his imagination to transform the world and toys around him into a fantasy one like most children do.

Will felt connected with the world he created by imagining himself as He-Man battling for Castle Grayskull against the evil forces of Skeletor or becoming a Ninja Turtle fighting foot soldiers in the mean streets of New York. Director Will knew that he wanted to be a storyteller when he grew up, and he started using the tools that were available to him as a filmmaker to tell the most compelling stories to the audience.

Animation is this incredible medium that allows us to feel empathy for characters and people’s stories. We can empathize with humans in the gulf war in the middle east to space aliens in a civil war in Jupiter”, says Will. Talking about films, Will says that we have been using the same film and storytelling techniques for over 100 years. He wondered by thinking out of the box if he could use a different way to tell stories using modern and developing technologies. While the films we watch on screens and monitors are just windows to the other world, Will envisioned instead of watching a film through a window, that we can actually view by going through the window and inhabiting the world as the character would live and see it . This is where Virtual Reality does the magic, making you feel present in the world with people beside you.

“When you look down, you’re sitting on the same ground that they’re sitting on. And because of that, you feel the character in a deeper way”, exclaims Will. “Virtual Reality, if used correctly in the field of storytelling can make you have empathy for people and times of history”, Will added. From the Latin phrase videre est credere meaning to see is to believe, has never been more true.

The message Director Will wishes to put across is that Virtual Reality can connect humans to other humans in a profound way that no other medium has seen before. He explains it further with another example of going back in time with the horrors of history i.e Trans Atlantic slavery and the Nazi Germany, and being actually transported to the bottom of a slave ship or a long journey to a concentration camp in Nazi Germany.

Viewing this and experiencing this moment in time, will allow the view to actually have more empathy for these past times as the viewer has actually experienced this. There are limits to what traditional film can do that VR can actually allow.

As the digital climate continues to evolve it is clear that it will require initiative and hard work from those who wish to stay on top. One thing is for sure, however the space changes, it is certain that Willard Appiah and Shoguns Studios will be there, leading the charge.

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