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Connection is the final project of the degree in Animation & VFX. The idea came thanks to an internship I did in PERCH ( Yale Program for Recovery and Community Health) in Connecticut, New Haven. The aim was to think of a project that could raise empathy and awareness with people whose struggling with mental illness.  In collaboration with BeanotherLab , we thought of writing a scientific paper together of the following topic. “Embodying depression and bipolar disorder within VR and its effects on reducing stigma”.

The project consisted in investigating if virtual reality combined with 360 video and documentary film can be a good tool for raising awareness of issues like stigma in society, specifically associated to people that are battling with depression and bipolar disorder.  

The investigation was made by three main parts. The first part, was creating a VR experience with 360 video that through the first person – perspective, the spectator can live situations based in real life and empathize with a person that has depression or bipolar disorder as well as hearing his/her own experience. The experience has an educational component that provides an understanding of the illness and a reflection of how our acts have an impact upon others. The second part, was collecting a sample of students that would live the experience in VR or watch it in the screen of a computer and fill surveys. The third part, analyse the data and write a scientific paper. 

Is innovative mainly for two reasons; It allows using VR beyond the commonly usage of videogames with the purpose of connecting people and there are a lot of projects treating mental illness with virtual reality for recovery but few with the aim of raising awareness of social issues.

Connection is in collaboration with Beanotherlab,  the psychologist Felice de Schutter and  with the support of Yale University School of Medicine program PERCH(Yale Program for Recovery & Community Health) and La Salle Bonanova University Ramon Llull ( investigation lab GRETEL).  

*The current state of this project is postponed due to Covid-19 circumstances. The experiment was about to take place in La Salle Bonanova University and BAU University a week ago the lockdown. *