The pulse races, you can't breath, the world around you becomes blurred - Caty Blättermann's virtual reality experience The Blues lets the user experience a panic attack up close. And in fact your heart starts beating a little faster when you put on the VR goggles. This is no surprise, since The Blues is a project that could hardly be more personal. Caty herself tells you more about it this month:
"Mental health in adolescents and young adults is still a taboo topic in the media. Although the number of people affected is growing, it is not a welcome phenomenon. The Blues is an interactive 10-minute VR experience dealing with the anxiety disorder of panic syndrome and agoraphobia. With the help of virtual reality glasses, the player trelives the associated difficulties that patients have to overcome in everyday life from a first-person perspective. Since it is a very gripping topic for me, I was particularly interested in implementing this project in a team.
I had experienced my first panic attack two years before work on the The Blues started. When I couldn't breathe out of the blue and had to be rushed to the hospital, I was very happy to have my family and friends around me. Although I had the feeling that I had barely escaped death, the doctor assured me that I was absolutely fine. After several examinations by different doctors, I suspected that I was suffering from a largely unnoticed illness. The months of uncertainty that followed provided the actual motivation for the project. I wanted the panic syndrome and its symptoms to be better known to the public, so that people could learn how to deal with it.
When I started my studies at the Filmakademie, I already knew how to deal with the panic that occurred in my everyday life. I wanted to bring my experiences closer to others in an interesting way. Fortunately, I was able to find team members who wanted to turn my project into reality together with me. Through cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg Weingarten, the sound design studio Delta Soundworks and the author Jane Gauntlett, the team gained further support. Although a large part of the team was only sporadically present at the Filmakademie, the project was completed in time due to the generally high motivation.
Malte Stehr joined the team as a producer. We had The Blues tested by players at festivals, from which we derived practical improvement possibilities. The project was then completed by FMX 2017.
It's gratifying to see that the entertainment industry is now increasingly taking up the topic discussed here."
Game Director: Caty Davis Blättermann
Producer: Malte Stehr
Script: Jane Gauntlett
Programmer: Thorsten Regenbogen
Environment Art: Simone Pivetta '
Sound Design: Daniel Deboy
Sound Design: Ana Monte Assis
Music: Julian Maier-Hauff
Cut: Farina Hasak
Voice Actor: Eleanor Conway
Conception and Execution Experience Trailer: Cécilia Marchat
Conception and Execution Experience Trailer: Marius Brüning