Speaker: Milica Petrovic
Affiliation: Depression Research Center - German Depression Foundation, Department of Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Frankfurt
Title: “If I met myself”: Digital narrative approach to experiencing the self in the virtual world
Abstract (long version below): Media comparisons stand in a long tradition (e.g., Lessing 1766), with some scholars focusing on how the same phenomena can occur in different guises in various media, while maintaining essential characteristics; and other studies aiming to identifying unique qualities of the medium (e.g., in Chatman 1980, What Novels Can Do That Films Can’t (And Vice Versa). VR and literature seem total opposites; here we will explore how they are, and how they are not. The symposium stimulates a cross fertilization, by coupling empirical research on these media, thus generating new insights, and deepen our understanding of key concepts such as narrative, embodiment, transformative experiences, immersion, presence, and transportation.
Summary: In the fast-changing digital culture, the storytelling applications expand rapidly and often disproportionally. A great emphasis is placed on the storytelling utility and outcomes, while underlying mechanisms of storytelling remain only in research domain of neuroscience. Following the neuroscientific findings on storytelling and narrative structure, we developed a theory-based and user need driven Transformative Storytelling Technique for structuring sudden and traumatic experiences into the cohesive digital narratives of self. In the upcoming work, I present the application of this technique in a sample of informal caregivers and discuss the implications for virtual world.