Rosie Poebright is a digital artist, a storyteller and real-world game designer. She works with a powerful mix of ingredients to design her experiences - most importantly audience agency, interactivity and embodiment. As Creative Director of Splash & Ripple: “Architects of Extraordinary Adventures” she makes experiences that transport people from their normal everyday lives to an extraordinary space where they can play with new ways of thinking, feeling and being.  

She is currently working on the R&D for an audio real-world experience called Empath which gives audiences the chance to step into someone else's life and walk around in it. The process has thrown up questions on vulnerability and feeling safe enough to be creative, as well as how to enable vulnerable people to share their stories.

Five Things I Learned:

1. Rosie identified that language is key for the participant’s immersion into the story. Using the right language can get people into a receptive state, enabling them to examine their own feelings in relation to the story. The biggest challenge Rosie has faced has been making the script sound like it’s coming from inside someone’s head. It’s difficult, as people don’t always think in words. 

2. As a self-confessed phone junkie, Rosie realised being on her phone became a coping mechanism. It was important for Rosie to use the mobile phone in a subversive way; allowing people use their phones to connect with themselves and others better. People aren't made to look at screens and so allowing the audience to psychically walk around with the interactive audio gives them a richer experience. 

3. The authenticity of the story is important to the project. Rosie talked about contact theory; the theory that when groups of people spend time with people of another group, they’re more likely to form positive opinions of each other. She wants to utilise this idea in her project so it’s necessary that the stories are made from real narratives.

4. The ethics behind Rosie asking for people’s deep personal stories to tell to the public and how to do this safely was another issue that needed exploring. Rosie came up with two solutions; consent and empowerment. Putting people in a place where they feel like their story is making an impact and equally taking audience on a journey.

5. Rosie ended by inviting the audience to take part in a six-minute pre-recorded audio demonstration. After the demonstration the affect on the room was palpable; it was a very special and moving piece and the message that was felt after was that it’s okay to be vulnerable sometimes and to ask for help.

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