VR Documentary Explores The Horrors Of War From A Soldier’s Perspective

See the effects of PTSD first-hand in this hand-illustrated recollection of one Iraq War veteran’s haunting memories.
Over the past couple of years post-traumatic stress disorder among military personnel has gained more national attention than ever before. After all, just because a soldier is home, doesn’t mean their fight is over.  With roughly 12.5 percent of returning veterans reporting symptoms of PTSD after deployment, it’s without a doubt a condition that requires continued attention.

To help assist in bringing awareness towards current mental health concerns, especially within our military, immersive studio RYOT Films has teamed up with Eisner-nominated digital artist Sutu to produce an emotional and in-depth look into one soldier’s experience before, during, and after his deployment during the Iraq War.

Following the true story of Iraq veteran Scott England, Mind at War is an emotional, room-scale journey into Scott’s dark descent into PTSD as a result of his combat experience in Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to the release, the 20-minute experience guides viewers through a collection of hand-drawn, Tilt Brush illustrations capturing the chain-of-events leading Scott to war. Throughout the experience Scott himself narrates the story, as we learn about the loss of his job two weeks before his wedding, his thoughts during the tragic moments of 911, his deployment in Iraq as well as the traumatic encounters that would eventually lead to him towards emotional instability.

“Our goal with this project is to create immersive media that can be used as a tool to promote social awareness around key issues facing the globe today,” spoke RYOT co-founder and CEO Bryn Moser in a release. “In ‘Mind of War,’ we employ technology as a vehicle to tell stories in a new medium that will both captivate audiences and raise awareness, while also encouraging immediate action that will meaningfully change the conversation around key issues in modern society – in this case, the spectre of PTSD.”

“RYOT is committed to finding the innovative minds of tomorrow, today,” continues Jake Sally, Director of Immersive Development at RYOT. “To that end, we are proud to partner with Sutu, who has quickly and emphatically established himself as one most thoughtful content creators in the industry. Through his use of artistic, hands-on VR creation tools, Sutu goes beyond placing a viewer in someone else’s shoes to truly unlocking the depths of one man’s conflicted mind in a way that is nothing short of stunning.”

Mind at War was produced by RYOT Films and Kaleidoscope, and directed, written and illustrated by Stuart Campbell (Sutu). The VR short recently made its world premiere at the 2018 Sheffield International Documentary Festival in Sheffield, England.
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