(designer)Anthony Jesse Deen
(thesis advisor)Ethan Silverman
(thesis advisor)Chris Prentice
Movies generate powerful social experiences among viewers in the real world, but they are highly underutilized as a real-time social agent within the virtual space. As we come to rely more heavily upon virtual presence to maintain our real-world connections, there comes a need for online experiences that live between the utilitarian systems that let us keep in touch and the immersive narrative environments we use to escape. The engaging and cathartic aspects of film create media spaces that merge professionally made content with our own personal stories, and, by connecting users through methods of narrative-mediated communication, we can evoke and recreate powerful real-world social interactions within virtual environments.
Your Virtual Living Room (YourVLR ) is an online service that brings people together through the experience of watching movies. The application combines multicast, on-demand video streaming with an integrated voice-chat feature, thus allowing users to casually converse or simply sense the presence of one another as a movie plays. In extending the metaphor of the living room into a personal, online media space, YourVLR genuinely simulates a familiar, offline social experience that make our virtual connections feel more tangible and “real.”
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