Goliath by Anagram

Goliath by Anagram is an immersive VR experience exploring what it means to live the experience of a man using gaming to overcome his psychiatric disorders.

Goliath_Anagram

Goliath is an animated VR narrative based on the real-life story of Jon, a man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia who, following a decade of isolation in psychiatric institutions, found a lifeline in online multiplayer gaming.

Guided by Jon’s narration, the audience navigates different layers of his real and virtual worlds, and experiences the friendships and connections he found in the gaming community.

VR offers the perfect medium to explore the blurred boundary between the real and the unreal of psychosis, and the relationship between an individual, their avatar and others. Goliath presents an uplifting look at overcoming isolation through online connection.

Intended audience

This experience would appeal to anyone with an interest in mental health as well as those engaged with gaming culture. It can also attract audiences interested in online social communication. In particular:

  • Home users who own an Oculus Quest
  • Arts and culture festival attendees – Anagram had originally planned a simultaneously launch at prestigious global festivals across 2021, however they will be adjusting to the new-Covid world.
  • Those affected by mental health and isolation issues through an outreach programme

Creator’s statement

In making Goliath we hope to create a better understanding about the importance of social online gaming in the lives of marginalised people in society. People with conditions such as Goliath’s protagonist find integration into the everyday life difficult, gaming can offer a lifeline to some. Sufferers have a far lower life expectancy as a result of their condition and much of that is down to loneliness.

Goliath explores themes of alternative realities and social relationships through a positive reflection on gaming in the face of adverse life events.

Technical summary

Goliath is a 6DF CGI VR experience built natively for the Oculus Quest, the world’s first standalone headset to allow full room-scale movement. Anagram is also exploring strategies to work with selected cultural and mental health partners in new exhibition formats beyond the headset.

Project team details

  • May Abdalla – Co-Director
  • Barry Gene Murphy – Co-Director
  • Dr. Michael Golembewski – Interaction Designer and Lead Developer
  • Anetta Jones – Immersive Producer
  • Kirsty Jennings – Company Producer
  • Rebecca Frankel – Creative Strategy Consultant
  • Oliver Bancroft  – Script Consultant
  • Xandi Adderley – Technical Director
  • Aaron Cupples – Composer

Team profile

“They fundamentally changed the way I think about immersive storytelling.” – Ingrid Kopp, Director of Interactive at Tribeca Film Institute

ANAGRAM is an award-winning creative studio who specialise in crafting provocative and immersive storytelling templates.  Their work invites participants to playfully reimagine how they see and understand the world, challenging unspoken assumptions and core beliefs. Their studio practice centres on bringing together physical experience and interaction into a story to make it personal and resonant for each participant.

Winners of the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival Storyscapes award, the 2019 Sandbox Immersive Art award and part of the Best of 2019 lineup at the Venice International Film Festival in the Virtual Reality category, Anagram were named in the Createch 100 ones to watch for 2020 by the Creative Industries Council.

Past work

202, “A Face To Open Doors”
2018, “Make Noise”
2018, “Collider”
2017, “HoloLens”
2015, “Door Into The Dark”
2012, “Two Wheels Good”