Created by Milica Zec and Winslow Turner Porter III, the project Giant is a virtual reality experience detailing a story of a family amidst an active war zone; inspired by true events of Zec’s family during a war-torn Europe, the vision is of two parents struggling to distract their daughter by inventing a fantastical tale–that the belligerence and commotions above ground are mere antics of a giant. The audience is transported into a makeshift basement shelter in which the characters hide, becoming fully immersed in a dark and ominous atmosphere, complete with sound effects and physical motion as if one were living vicariously through someone in that virtual reality.
Being someone who has had minimal exposure and personal experience with VR, donning the Giant‘s headgear and noise-cancelling headphones was an indescribable and very intimate experience. Giant was impressive from both an artistic and technical viewpoint, boasting emotional storytelling expertise and seamless technological execution with heavy attention to detail. This work is the first VR I’ve experienced to have a fully-immersive, 360-degree view of its fictional realm; it was very invigorating, yet it also made me wary, that I could fully turn my head to view the full surroundings of a virtual room whilst within the piece: in this case, I could omnisciently scan the basement in which the family resided.
Giant was a subtle, powerful experience, and explored a concept similarly demonstrated by the film Life is Beautiful: masking darker truths with lighthearted fantasies for the sake of the innocent. It’s an entirely bittersweet intention, especially when one is seeing it from a third-party point of view.


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