A Case Study

Now Is The Time. 

Time Studios & Meta.

Time Studios and Meta invited me to direct a VR project that aims to reintroduce Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s most famous speech, commonly known as the "I Have a Dream Speech." Working with the development team at Flight School Studio, we designed a hands-free mechanic that allows audiences to reach out and engage with some of the basic demands presented by Dr. King. The project uses body gestures and takes full advantages of the Meta Quest headset hand tracking to move the player throughout virtual environments.

I wanted to explore how those demands are being experienced today, specifically by asking the audience to participate in vignettes prompted by the words in the speech. Through this interaction, we hope to bring attention to the ongoing struggles for justice, equality, and freedom in our society, and perhaps ignite a conversation that stirs the user into activism. Below is a small sample of the journey we went on to bring this experience to life.

Time Published the experience on Meta’s Quest headsets and is available to download for free on the Meta Quest Appstore.

1963 Was Not An End But A Beginning.

Casting The Audience
The project began as a revisiting of the March on Washington in 1963, where the audience is placed in the crowd of the event. However, I was more interested in the intimacy of the crowd and less in the spectacle of it. I wanted to tell the stories of the people who gathered, motivated by Dr. King's words and ideology for a more equitable America. The more we looked at the demands and themes in his speech, the more we realized that these same demands are still being cried out today.

Connecting the March on Washington in 1963 with a modern gathering in 2023 was tricky. We did not want to transport MLK and superimpose him on a modern gathering. Instead, we used his image as a statue that is breaking into pieces, stones that can be grabbed to transport us to these stories.

Put Your Hands Up!  
Grabbing a stone became an important mechanism for traversing the experience, and we leveraged Meta Quest's 2 hand tracking. The sense of presence and understanding "who" we are in the experience was an important ingredient in the project. VR can be dissociative, but I wanted to make sure the audience was invited to experience and see a point of view of others' lived experience, but as themselves. The takeaway is that your experience is shared.

We focused on three vignettes that helped communicate the demands of the speech and the connection to the world we live in today.  In the experience a floating stone, represented a piece of the speech, a unque section that focused on a core demand.

Policing, Housing and Voting

All images ©Limbert Fabian & Flight School Studio 2022

©Limbert Fabian