How can VR assist with creative visualization in order to increase positive affect and promote well-being in individuals coping with anxiety?​

Vision of the Artist is an interactive VR experience designed for the Oculus Quest using Unity. It explores positive technologies used to inspire awe and self-acceptance through VR-assisted creative visualization and storytelling as a method to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and promote subjective well-being. The study discusses the significant role of using creative visualization and storytelling to increase positive affect in individuals of all ages.

AN INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE

The player embarks on a journey of “time-travelling” self-discovery, writing and painting their own story to understand themselves better, in the form of drawings and paintings, whose visuals and effects depend on the timeline.

PROLOGUE

“What if you could overcome anything? What if I told you, you already have that power? Look up to the sky. There are millions of possibilities waiting for you. But, there is something you must first overcome.”

They are the fictional beings called Dream Eaters, creatures representative of what stops people from pursuing their dreams and ambitions. They are the source of fog that clouds the player’s vision.

Finding themselves in a mysterious world, the player is asked to add their own Dream Eater to the scene. This allows the player to paint their fears in a more positive light.

 

To be victorious, we must return to the past, and seek answers from within. The player is asked to imagine going back in time.

The player finds themselves in a neolithic cave, and are are asked to communicate what they need to survive in the present, through drawing on the walls with black and red ochre paint. 

 

The player is then transported to a blank world inspired by ancient paintings, and invited to fill the world with what brings them joy. 

 

This is based on the principles of  creative visualization, in which self-awareness is practiced first. The first stage is to understand what one needs to survive. The second stage of self-awareness comes next; to understand what one needs to be happy. Only after the player is aware, can he or she move forward and begin the journey.

The journey begins with the player reading an animated comic book. Their vision clears because they are now aware of their needs and wants, and can see their destination with clarity.

 

They shortly find themselves transported into the comic book world after they encounter the manifestation of all Dream Eaters.

 

To gather the courage to face our Dream Eaters and fears, creative visualization and seeing the situation in a positive light will help.

 

The player activates their visions, in the form of speech bubbles, and fill the scene with light. When all 5 visions are activated, the player is ready to slay the Dream Eater.

But… there is a twist.

 

The Dream Eater reveals that it is the player’s neglected and misunderstood emotion, who only wanted to be understood and loved. 

The player is given the option to hug the Dream Eater. When hugged, the Dream Eater transforms into a glowing orb of light – The Dream Eater’s true form. 

 

The finale reveals the truth behind The Dream Eater, and thus… our emotions. Neglected and misunderstood, they will make life more difficult. But when given a chance to be understood, they will allow us to be stronger than we can ever imagine.

 

Vision of the Artist highlights the importance of having a vision. The title alludes to someone using positive imagery and their imagination to face against adversity and to realize their dreams.

The ultimate goal is to unlock the player’s imagination in order to empower the player in real life. 

 

See the demo below!