Storytelling in VR Event — School Volunteers Share their Experience
On March 14th PWiC Seattle team co-hosted an event with Tasveer.org to screen the first Virtual Reality documentary Series from Pakistan “Look But With Love” directed by two-time Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and renowned immersive artist Chris Milk. The VR showcase was followed by a panel discussion on Storytelling with VR. You can read more about the event here:
PWiC’s School Volunteers
PWiC arranged for student volunteers to attend the event and learn how to operate VR tech and learn from the panel about how VR tech can be used to build various experiences. Three of these student volunteers decided to record their experience to share with the community so other student volunteers can see the benefit and participate in future events.
Let’s hear from Alizeh Zaidi (8th grader), Duaa Zaheer (High school senior) and Sahar Abid (7th grader) in their own words:
My name is Alizeh Zaidi. I am an 8th grader at Evergreen Middle School. I volunteered with PWiC and Tasveer on the 14th of March in 2019. My job was to help people enjoy the film on Virtual Reality (VR) by making sure the technology was working correctly. It also provided me the opportunity to experience a VR movie! The documentaries were beautiful and made me feel as I was there in person for the events. The experience I got from real-time troubleshooting really boosted my confidence and helped the attendees enjoy the event. Listening to the panel speak I also got a behind the scenes look into the VR movie making, it’s different types, and how VR is becoming common in so many fields. I would recommend everyone go to Tasveer and PWIC events in the future as they are very educational and inspiring!
My name is Duaa Zaheer and I’m a senior at the International Community School and will be attending University of Washington next year. Last month, I was given a wonderful opportunity to serve as a volunteer at Tasveer’s showing of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s “Look but with Love: A Virtual Reality Series” at the Bellevue Art Museum. As a volunteer, I assisted event attendees with their virtual reality headsets and taught them how to operate the headsets. The event brought together a community of individuals to experience firsthand the wonders of virtual reality and to appreciate the resulting art that is created through such technology. Watching Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s short films with a virtual reality headset was an experience unlike any other. Virtual reality truly has the power to transport you to a different place, and lets you live out experience even if you aren’t there in reality. Watching the films, I felt as if I was actually in Pakistan alongside vibrant culture and living out the stories for myself. Afterward, I attended a tech panel, through which I learned about the growing role of virtual reality in today’s technology industry. My experience volunteering at this event, watching the films, and attending the panel taught me that technology has the incredible power to depict stories via platforms like virtual reality, which are making a change in the world.
My name is Sahar Abid. I am a 7th-grade student at Eckstein Middle School. I enjoy reading, baking, drawing and spending time with my family and friends. I volunteered with PWiC and Tasveer on the March 14th, 2019 at Bellevue Art Museum to showcase Sharmeen Obaid’s VR documentary series. This is the first VR documentary from Pakistan and I was lucky to participate as a volunteer. I had a great time volunteering with PWiC. The volunteering experience wasn’t only about helping others but learning. I was able to learn a lot about the VR headsets we used to watch the documentary. I learned so much that I was able to help others that were experiencing technical difficulties. I liked learning about VR headsets because it’s very likely I’ll use one in the future. I didn’t get to watch a full documentary but I was able to watch the start of one. It was very interesting to look through someone else’s perspective and while watching the documentary, I thought I was actually there. I really liked volunteering but if there was something I didn’t really like, it was how at certain moments there would be no one coming in to watch the documentaries. These time periods lasted from 5–15 minutes. I thought it would have been more productive use of our time if we had something to do during those times to improve the VR experience even more.