Rose-TrocheRose Troche knows that the first-person perspective is flawed, and she wanted to show people just how vulnerable it can by telling a single story between four different points of view. She teamed up with Specular Theory’s Morris May again for Perspective Chapter 2: The Misdemeanor, which is a powerful example of storytelling that’s only possible in VR. It gives you a direct experience of how our perceptions and biases can shape our eye witness testimony of a police shooting.

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Perspective comes in four different segments, and each segment cuts between what each of the four different characters see. Each segment is self-contained in that you could watch it and get one variation of the overall story of a police shooting that happens between two cops and two adolescents of color. But in order to get the all of the first person perspectives and all of the stories, then you have to watch all four segments. The order in which you watch these segments can dramatically alter your story of what happened.

After watching all four segments at the Sundance New Frontier program, I had a direct experience of how my own biases and pre-existing narratives where completely overturned by evidence that I hadn’t see in any of the other previous three segments.

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I had a chance to catch up with Rose at Sundance where she talks about her research process, her goals of creating a piece that leaves people questioning their biases, and how she crafted an experience that allows you to empathize with each of the flawed characters who all make mistakes. Perspective is an ambitious piece of immersive storytelling that challenged my perception, and my memory, and my concepts of the truth.

Perspective is being shown all of this week in the mobile VR section of the Sundance New Frontier program.

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  • “two adolescents of color” WTF? Who isn’t “of color” first of all and second, it’s 2016; grow up and get past the shallow and superficial issues of the past. It doesn’t matter what prejudices lend themselves to improper conduct by police until the conduct itself is addressed. It’s true with all such issues, but in this context, if the police are checking their behavior and decision making without respect to something like race, then race CANNOT be an issue and the prejudice eliminates itself. For example, the MOMENT you say, “of color”, the situation is tainted and focus on the real issue is lost. SEE? I completely lost perspective of this article because of how the author made “color” an issue rather than focusing on the bigger picture. Now, I look forward to this experience being released. It sounds very interesting.

    • kalqlate

      …if the police are checking their behavior and decision making without respect to something like race, then race CANNOT be an issue and the prejudice eliminates itself.

      I agree, but… easier said than done. The point is that there are biases all around that play into perception, action, and recollection.

      For example, the MOMENT you say, “of color”, the situation is tainted and focus on the real issue is lost.

      Even if you don’t “say” it, “of color” (a.k.a. not white, not privileged, therefore, probably a bad, potentially dangerous actor) might be perceived, biases might kick in, and action and recollection might be adjusted accordingly.

      From the possible “of color” perspective, the “white officer” (a.k.a trigger-happy authority figure out to accuse, mistreat, persecute and maybe even kill one “of color”) might be perceived, biases might kick in, and action and recollection might be adjusted accordingly.

      I completely lost perspective of this article because of how the author made “color” an issue rather than focusing on the bigger picture.

      If but there were a magic wand, humans could transcend their biases, and “of color” would not be an issue; however, human biases–not so easily dismissed–are part of the “bigger picture”. You can’t address the big picture fully without addressing its parts.

      • ..and yet, “of color” wasn’t needed, wasn’t relevant and added nothing to the article save for distraction.

        My point remains, being aware of our biases is still secondary to just plain doing the right thing. If I’m prejudice to dislike a person because the color of their skin (or have negative expectations of their behavior), should I FIRST focus on “I shouldn’t expect this person to …. because they are ….” (which is a distraction away from what is needful and will likely make me LOOK for those things), OR should I focus on “I should remain calm and follow the protocol of….”?

        In retrospect, it would surely be helpful to think something like, “wow, I was really nervous and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was because of a prejudice I have towards…..” then start addressing that. None of that changes right/wrong for the rules of law-enforcement.

        Look at it the other way around. Let’s say we have a fictional officer from Detroit who joins the force in San Diego. This fictional officer has encountered many a youth “of color” (Why can’t we say black anyway? Nobody takes special offense to “white”. Isn’t THAT racism in reverse?) in Detroit that was gang-affiliated and aggressive or disrespectful to police officers which has made this officer learly of black youth. The reality is that officer will have prejudices and when they encounter a black youth in San Diego, whether conscious of it or not, whether the nicest guy in the world or not, it will matter. Now should they a) Think, “the black youth here are not like Detroit and I shouldn’t be so quick to defend myself”; which is a distraction and a good way to get themselves killed should they encounter a dangerous person, OR b) Just follow the protocol they’ve been given and not assume danger/crime where there isn’t CLEAR evidence?

        By the way, i assume “black” above because it’s so rare that anyone every avoids labeling people by color unless it’s a reference to black. Perhaps that wasn’t even the case in the scenario this article references (haven’t seen that yet), but the author did make a point of the label (even if avoiding a specific value) so clearly skin color (also, not “race” which I won’t even get started on…) was an issue and hence my assumption.

        • kalqlate

          My point remains, being aware of our biases is still secondary to just plain doing the right thing.

          Yep. If but there were a magic wand.

      • daniel

        Of color?! XD Are you a 1988 father asking his daughter about her friend.

        • kalqlate

          No. Just using the lingo from the article.

  • nope

    “of color” what the hell? What am I, watching FOX news?