From putting a face on homelessness and taking people deep inside the prison system to elucidating the plight of refugees and more, VR has the ability to shed light on corners of the world far removed from our own. The Oculus VR for Good program helps bring to life VR projects that create space for empathy and reflection on the world around us. Today, we’re excited to share that our latest VR for Good project, Goliath: Playing with Reality, will debut at the 78th Venice International Film Festival on September 1.
Produced by Anagram in conjunction with Floréal Films and directed by Barry Gene Murphy and May Abdalla, Goliath is a 25-minute VR experience that explores the limits of reality, the weight of mental illness, and the supportive power of gaming communities. Academy Award-winning actor Tilda Swinton narrates the experience, guiding audiences through the many realities of Goliath, a man with schizophrenia who finds connection through multiplayer games.
“Goliath is an exploration of the places we choose to feel safe in and what it means to experience someone else’s reality,” say directors Murphy and Abdalla. “Through the use of VR technology, we immerse users in a world where things aren’t as they seem in an effort to unpack our preconceptions and prejudices around mental health and the shame engendered by psychiatric disorders.”
“Tilda brought an understanding and otherworldly gravitas that lifted the character of Echo and the experience out of the ordinary,” adds Murphy. “We hope her collaboration brings new audiences to the medium and with it, a deeper awareness of the subject matter of Goliath.”