Under the framework of The Leviathan Project, students explore the boundaries of technology and storytelling and the bonds between them. The World Building Media Lab’s flagship project has housed multiple ventures into new narrative mediums that redefine the roles of creators, creations, and reactors.
As The Leviathan Project develops a language for this new storytelling platform – a chimera of game, theatre, and film – we aim to embolden interactive narrative. Under the Leviathan’s banner, students from multiple disciplines have created projects where technology reinforces narrative and vice versa. Whether it’s augmented reality, virtual reality, or something in-between, the form serves to immerse users in these emergent worlds.
The project, based on Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy, takes place in 1895, twenty years prior to the source material. In Westerfeld’s story, World War I is reimagined with bioengineered fabricated animals replacing technology and facing off against large mechanical robots. While the books focus on the tension of war, The Leviathan Project emphasizes the experimental exploration in the concept of fabrication. By taking place earlier than the series, the project builds a world of wonder and amazement for the unknown and the unexpected possibilities that can suddenly arise.
The Leviathan Project’s demonstrations to date include a massive group augmented reality experience at Intel’s CES keynote presentation in 2014 and a virtual reality experience with a tactile, haptic interface showcased at Sundance New Frontiers in 2016.
The Leviathan Project helps the World Building Media Lab push forward new interactive narrative possibilities. Whether it’s telling multiple narratives or telling a single story across multiple devices, The Leviathan Project believes in the art of the question and the act of the quest.