From Tourist to Participant: Creating True Immersive VR

Conference Archive

Learning Solutions Conference & Expo 2019 - March 26, 2019

Adi Stephan

Head of Learning

“Immersion” is a buzzword associated with virtual reality. But simply donning VR glasses and engaging the visual and auditory senses does not automatically result in deep mental or emotional involvement—the true meaning of immersion. Often, instead of being an active participant, the user is merely a spectator or tourist in a virtual world, observing it but never connecting. So, when does an experience become immersive? When you can create circumstances that elicit true emotional responses; when experiences become real to users in a way they hadn’t anticipated; when they feel surprise, fear, and excitement as a result of the content they’re engaging with. This was achieved in Walking in Mandela’s Footsteps, a VR experience for the Oculus Go.

This case study session will show you how to design a VR experience that engages with users on a mental and emotional level. You’ll find out how Walking in Mandela’s Footsteps not only created a linear journey experience but also managed to evoke very powerful emotions in the last two parts of the journey. On a more practical level, you’ll also unpack each of the processes involved in creating the journey: theme creation, journey outline, linear experience design, and identification and implementation of intangible, emotive aspects.

In this session, you will learn:

  • Strategies to create VR journeys that will not merely engage users’ senses, but emotionally involve them
  • Techniques to enhance user interactivity, both mentally and emotionally
  • How to evoke emotion in VR
  • How to create a journey


Designers and developers

Technology discussed in this session:

Oculus Go


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