SENS VR, by Marie Blondiaux
Between contemplative story and exploratory game, SENS VR plunges the player into a visual labyrinth. The signposts may be mangled, but the sensation of wonder remains intact.
Since studying cultural management and audiovisual law, Marie Blondiaux has undertaken many projects and initiatives and shows a strong taste for innovation. This inclination, which first took the form of a project with the mission of promoting digital heritage for the Ministry of Culture, then manifested itself through her role as project manager for digital content.
Since 2012, she has been a producer for the Red Corner label, a company founded on the model of a network of creators and developers, with such achievements to her name as the animated documentary The Wanted 18 and the interactive comic The Last Gallian (“Le Dernier Gaulois”).
Play to lose yourself
SENS VR is a virtual reality video game playing both on the codes and symbols of comic books and the virtual reality experience.
In a minimalist and poetic universe, filled with black and white arrows, the user steers a mysterious, silent creature dressed in a hat.
In this arrow-filled labyrinth, the challenge is to find your way through a constantly-shifting world. This is a task that requires a great deal of ingenuity, as the perspective flips repeatedly and new puzzles appear as the previous ones are unravelled.
A comic book in the first person
The first virtual reality experience adapted from a comic book, SENS VR is inspired by the work SENS by the cartoonist and screenwriter Marc-Antoine Mathieu. He is known for having fun with the conventions of the so-called “ninth art”, here by telling a character to find the final page of his story, there by questioning the disappearance of a vanishing point.
The app itself projects these questions into a new technological universe. To succeed in such a feat, the involvement of the digital production company Red Corner, led by Marie Blondiaux, and the participation of game designers Charles Ayats and Armand Lemarchand were indispensable.
A universal experience
The app SENS VR, through its silent, symbolic and interactive nature, is accessible to all, including non-French speakers. This lack of language barriers, together with the innovative dimension of the project, contributes significantly to its international recognition. As a result, the app was selected for inclusion in “Storyscapes” at New York City's Tribeca Film Festival in 2016, which rewards new forms of storytelling. In the same year, it was a finalist at the Vision Summit in Hollywood, hosted by the Unity platform, a popular video game engine.
SENS VR by Marie Blondiaux is presented as part of “Reading Machines”, an exhibition dedicated to innovative books produced by the Institut français and touring internationally across the French cultural network abroad.
It is also part of the selection available on futurlivre.fr, a platform that collects and promotes works falling under the umbrella of innovative books.