AWE is a VR experience inspired by the Overview Effect, a profound experience that astronauts have when they see the Earth from outer space. It aims to elicit awe and in return support the feeling of connection and wellbeing. AWE takes immersants on a magical journey beginning at campsite from where they are guided by a playful sprite to take a leap of faith into a lake, where they pass by underwater creatures to reach an opening into space.
The experience culminates with a fly by Earth, allowing participants to admire its beauty. In this project we have investigated VR’s potential to elicit awe, feeling of interconnectedness, and cognitive shifts reminiscent of Overview Effect.
Along with Denise and Bernhard I have engaged in intial storyboarding that then lead to the development of AWE. While Denise is leading this project, I have contributed much of the literature review guiding the development of the VR experience. I also took a lead on designing, running and analyzing the study.
Stepanova, E. R., Quesnel, D. & Riecke, B. E. Understanding AWE: How a virtual journey can lead to increased connectedness. Frontiers in Digital Humanities (2019).
Quesnel, D., Stepanova, E. R., Aguilar, I., Pennefather, P. & Riecke, B. E. Creating AWE: Artistic and Scientific Practices in Research-Based Design for Exploring a Profound Immersive Installation in 2018 IEEE Games, Entertainment, Media Conference (GEM) (2018), 200–207.
“Do you get enough “awe” in your life?”