A voiceover artist speaks
Mihir Dhar Prabhu, a theatre artist who doubled up as a voiceover artist for the Culture Connectors project, shares his thoughts on the value of virtual reality-based learning applications
Mihir works as an educator focusing in the field of arts. He is also a theatre artist and director, who is taking training in arts-based therapy. He is an alumnus of Ambedkar University Delhi, where he studied history.
He lent his animated voice and hours of good-humoured practice and on-mic sessions to get the right verve to the voice-over script that focuses on exploring the Qutb Complex through anecdotes, storytelling and games.
Culture Connectors’ Pilot narrative explores the layered history and anecdotes around the Qutb Complex. You seemed to have some really funny accounts and memories around the site too, would you like to add to the pool?
I love visiting historical sites. Such visits bring to life the rulers I've read so much about. As a young boy, my grandfather would bring me to the Qutb Complex. Then, I’d have the urge to climb the Qutb Minar and the unfinished Alai Minar. I’d dream of growing up to rule India and order the completion of the Alai Minar exactly as Alauddin Khilji wanted, as one of the tallest buildings in the world!
When we spoke to you about the project, there was an aspect of it that specifically excited you…
Making history accessible to children and young adults is very important in today’s screen-dominated world. The project offered to make history alive through stories and myths. It created an experience which was animated not merely by the virtue of being a virtual-reality performance but also through games and staggered storytelling.
What can virtual reality learning experiences offer 21st-century learners?
Virtual reality learning experiences can be participative, can ensure the viewers are retaining information especially if they are presented using attention-capturing strategies such as simple quizzes. VR also allows the viewers to be completely immersed in the experience afforded by a heritage site even when they are geographically far away from it. VR is a good medium for creative design and offers opportunities for presenting alternative angles to history over and above a simple listing of who built what and when, who waged war and why. It can make learning a complex process where learners can be encouraged to use their critical awareness of the site as well as the knowledge they may have acquired prior to and during the VR experience. CC seems to do all these quite well.