• Roger Matthews

Writing First Thesis/Putting Together Project

Everything is happening! Project wise, am switching from Unity (using UnityXR) to Unreal (using VR Expansion). Switching from Github to Plastic. Concerned about the time lost using this approach that could delay the project, but also am excited about the possibilities granted using the engine.

Most importantly, this grants me to try out the central concept of my project I wasn't able to accomplish with the prototype - an interactable fog (plus other elemental forces) that is detailed and dynamically changes shape. This gives a focus that can help ground the rest of the project.

Thesis paper wise, I have written the first draft of my thesis outline -


Immersion through raising questions instead of answers: An examination of using surrealist and expressionist approaches to create interactive storytelling experiences that are both immersive and emotionally engaging. Instead of focusing on high fidelity graphics or conventional reward driven gameplay as tools to immerse the user, ambiguous surrealist/expressionistic experiences can serve a different kind of immersion - a kind that creates questions and mysteries in the user’s head for them to ponder, without the aid of clear explanations. When this approach is successful, the user can still be immersed after their experience is over, because they are still pondering the questions raised by the experience.

Art that blurs the line between reality (representing connectedness) and illusion (disconnection).

1. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4074502/ - H.R. Giger documentary

2. https://www.dailyartmagazine.com/rene-magritte-lovers-in-separation/

Connecting with an Unseen World: Parallels between religious journeys/pilgrimages to discovering the unknown and immersive interactive experiences.

1. Bill Viola Interview - Five Angels of the Millenium


“I guess the connection ultimately ... has to do with an acknowledgement or awareness or recognition that… there’s another dimension that you just know is there, that can be a source of real knowledge, and the quest for connecting with that and identifying that is the whole impetus for me to cultivate these experiences and to make my work. And, on a larger scale, it is also the driving force behind all religious endeavors. There is an unseen world out there and we are living in it.”

2. Understanding Jacob’s Ladder Through the Tibetan Book of the Dead


Moral Ambiguity: Rendering the familiar unfamiliar through challenging the user’s moral frameworks.

1. Looking at the Philippa Foot Trolley problem today


2.Melanie C. Green - ‘transportation into a narrative world’ - immersion making you think differently about morality



Genre subversion. Initially presenting familiar genre elements and then wildly deviating from expected conventions.

1. https://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2013/11/19/246213397/in-the-stanley-parable-finding-the-story-is-the-game

2. https://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/109377/Opinion_How_Can_A_Game_Be_Subversive.php

Recent Posts

See All

Thesis Proposal (Residency Week)

1. What is your area of focus for your thesis research? Examining use of surrealism and ambiguity to blur the line between reality and fantasy, and how this approach can lead to creating a new immersi

Rabbit Hole (Residency Week)

I started my journey by looking up the work Untitled by Jean (Hans Arp) - https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/jean-hans-arp-untitled-collage-with-squares-arranged-according-to-the-laws-of-chance-