In 2018 we developed our first VR film, Virtual_Decisions: GANGS; a multi award-winning VR experience that explores gang culture, criminal exploitation and critical decision making, using an immersive “choose-your-own-path” format.
Following this success, we were commissioned by West Midlands Police to develop a second instalment of our Virtual_Decisions Universe; Virtual_Decisions: KNIVES. The VR experience places the participant in a simulated scenario where they can choose what happens in the story, with each decision having a different outcome. After the 11-minute film, our expert facilitators deliver a creative workshop where we further explore the participant’s decisions and the consequences of their actions, allowing for an open and honest dialogue.
We are currently workshopping Virtual_Decisions: KNIVES in the first trial schools in Birmingham.
These sessions are vital for us to truly understand the impact of this new film and workshop. The discussions that follow on from participants viewing the film are always profoundly insightful. They also help us plan topics for discussions on our @virtualdecisions Instagram page; a space for the Virtual_Decisions conversations to continue long after the workshops have ended.
After the Virtual_Decisions: KNIVES trial workshops we have been asking for anonymous feedback from our participants. When asked, after our discussions, are you more likely to think about the consequences of your actions? 97% of the students from the first trial schools said “Yes, I am more likely to think about the consequences”.
And when asked, what did you like most about the Virtual_Decisions: KNIVES film? We’ve had responses such as:
– “I liked how realistic it was”
– “that it made us feel involved”
– “the terminology used, was just very real and showed young people the real scenarios that actually do happen”
– “That they went into every detail on what could happen and they made you think about consequences”.
And the follow on workshop? Young people have said that, “the people that were leading the workshop were really down to earth and understanding” and that they “enjoyed the discussion and the roleplaying”.
We believe that having a participant focused approach is the best way to share our wealth of experience and to teach our often, under discussed, PSHE topics. By having the young people’s voices at the centre of our workshops, they reflect back to us not only on the matter at hand, but they also show us where the conversations of young people are heading. Allowing us to work on projects that keep up to date with the issues they are facing.
The new programme officially launches in September, we’ll be working with schools and local authorities across the country.
If you would like to contact us about Virtual_Decisions: KNIVES, or any of our other programmes, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.