Imagine, for a moment, waking up one day to find that you had an uncontrollable fear of going into stores. What would life be like? How would you buy your groceries? Could you survive? While the though of it may seems absurd, situations like this are a very real part of everyday life for some people with mental disorders.
Often undiagnosed and many times stigmatised, conditions such as depression and OCD, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, continue to affect around one in four people in a society unaware of their impacts and symptoms. The Difficult People Project has set out to confront this information gap by experimenting with VR as a means to communicate with the public about the realities of living with mental disorders. Starting with 360 videos, the Difficult People Project aims to capture the thoughts, sounds and sights that people these conditions experience in a way that is both accurate, empathetic, and informative.
For the VR World Forum, the project will be presenting two productions. The first, “What’s Up with Alex?”, highlights the social consequences of ADHD in a work environment while the second, “An Unusual Suspect” which will be premiering at the forum, will take the viewer on an anxiety inducing trip to a store as someone debilitated by OCD.