An Experiment in Immersive Storytelling
Behind the Scenes:
It's been so interesting to look back on an adventure I had years ago. When I was in the middle of making it, and then in the middle of making it happen for Zarina, I did not realize what I had made. It was a hectic time, and I didn't have much time to stop and think about what I was doing. I knew it was unusual, but after putting it all together to show online, I can read through and see more of just how unique it truly was. Sometimes, it can be challenging as a creator to imagine how you'll feel about something you've made years later. With Absolution, after the reflection I've had on it and recreating it online, I'm happy with how it turned out.
Initially, when I made an outline of what I'd like to do for Behind the Scenes, I thought I might have a whole section here in Reflections about what I would have changed, but now that I'm here and writing it, I don't think I'd change anything. I learned so much by doing it and even more by looking back at it. Time has worn down and smoothed over little imperfections and things I'd wanted to do differently and created a beautiful piece of art I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. I've noticed this same thing happening with other things I've created since then, and I suspect it will continue with everything I create going forward. It's a bit like looking too closely at a painting you've made—you can see the individual brush strokes, colors crossing over into where they shouldn't, cat hair glued into the paint, a faint outline of a pencil mark still visible—but if you take a few steps back, you can take it all in and appreciate the work in its entirety.
I hope someone out there reads through this immersive story and becomes inspired to create something of their own. The world can always benefit from more art, more artists, and more creative types in general. If you're reading this now and you decide to make something immersive or venture into a creative endeavor, I'd love to hear about it.
Sometimes, I think about whether or not I'd create an immersive story like Absolution again. I will never create this particular story again because it's already been told. However, I would make something immersive in the future. What exactly that might be, I'm not certain. Maybe an immersive horror story that took place over a single weekend in a specific location, and I'd kick up the intensity and immersion—but I'd only be able to do that for the right person.
For any story, immersive or not, the story would change into something completely different by simply switching out the protagonist for someone else. A protagonist that makes the wrong choices means their story could end before it even had the chance to start. The entire course of your life can change from one simple decision, and we all make simple decisions every single day. Some may seem mundane, while others may feel they have a bit more weight to them. What will you eat for breakfast? Will you seek out another job? Will you go left or right during a stroll outside? Will you sit down with a pen and paper and finally work on that thing you've always wanted to do?
That was the whole trick to Absolution—the protagonist really mattered. You are the protagonist in your own immersive story, and every choice you make matters. If you've walked one path until now, the only thing stopping you from walking another is yourself.
What kind of protagonist have you been?
What kind of protagonist will you become?