We decode the social effects of media to put their power to good use.

My Sky Is Falling

Augmented Empathy Through Immersive Media


New forms of media are emerging that offer previously passive viewers a more embodied, participatory experience. The question is: do these new forms actually result in increased empathetic response? We sought to answer this question with our friends from the Orange Duffel Bag Initiative, Reboot Stories and Columbia University, using the immersive mixed media piece My Sky Is Falling. The piece enacts the painful, dislocating experience of foster care on young people. We designed the study to include real-time data collection via wearable biosensors and quick-response surveys. Findings suggest that immersive narrative storytelling, combined with a documentary approach to social issue presentation, results in enriched participant empathy and response.