|Dpt.,Fred Casia,Kalina Bertin,Sandra Rodriguez
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If you are anyone in this experience, it’s like you are me listening to these voicemails and trying to imagine what my siblings are going through.
Author Kalina Bertin in an interview at Northeastern University.
Manic VR explores the experiences of the author’s siblings Felicia and François, suffering from bipolar disorder. Guided by voicemails from the siblings, viewers are immersed in a visual world of animation. The audio combines with the vivid imagery to give the viewers the experience of heightened senses, hallucinations, and frightening imagination that can accompany manic depression as described by Felicia and Francois. Additionally, interaction through viewer controls punctuate the visuals over time, such as when viewers are able to see energy and light flowing from their hands as they are floating in the cosmos.
These alterations of reality and the varying level of control allow the viewers to understand the empowerment of mania and the disempowerment of depression. Rather than putting viewers into the shoes of Felicia and Francois. Manic VR allows viewers insight into the real lived experiences of manic depression, as told by an author understanding her siblings more.