Sierra Leone: A Virtual Reality Experience

Sierra Leone: A Virtual Reality Experience

Margaret Barrie

Artistic and Creative Project

   In my proposal, I planned to make a film and artistic game in honor of my home country, Sierra Leone in West Africa. I followed through this plan by utilizing my artistic skills as an art minor and my technological skills as a computer science major to create a Virtual Reality game. The game features famous scenery and landmarks of Sierra Leone and resembles a narrative story in which the user sees Sierra Leone through my eyes.

   As far as understanding myself, this project helped me realize why I loved my country as much as I did, not simply because I was a member of this nation but rather the tradition, the culture, and its uniqueness. Sierra Leone is one of the smallest countries in the world, so there are not many people from there or even have heard of it. However, since I was little, I have heard stories and tales of this wonderful yet war-struck country that my parents fled from when they younger than I am today.

       As a child, Sierra Leone resembled a fairy tale world, were all my cousins and family resided. It was my escape from loneliness, being a first-generation American child with no one that seemed to understand my struggle with identity. This project helped express my love for my country in ways I didn’t know possible. I wanted people to be able to feel this emotion. As I stated in my proposal, I wish I could take everyone to Sierra Leone, so that they could understand the attachment I felt when I finally visited. But I obviously can’t do that, so I did the next best thing, I made a virtual reality game and now anyone can experience Sierra Leone through my eyes.

 My parents were perhaps the biggest catalyst in the change I experienced during my step project. Their stories of childhood in Sierra Leone were nothing less than beautiful. Hearing about afternoons under the mango tree, or how my mom used to climb the cotton trees and be able to see the entire rainforest around her. Or even more importantly the time they meet as children. My parents lived in the same village and my dad and mom knew each other as children. The first time he saw her he made fun of her for skinny legs, calling her “chicken legs”. Little insignificant details like that formed the beauty of Sierra Leone through their eyes and then mine. This affected my project in seeing how much their country meant to them

       As for professional goals, the project was a step in the right direction. I want to be some sort of programmer when I grow up or have something portion of coding in my job. So making a virtual reality game was nothing less than challenging technology wise. I became so much more proficient in programming. Artistically, the entire game concept was entirely by me. So artistically I developed my skill much more than I thought possible. From the environment to the characters, everything was an advancement to my skill set.

Screen Shots of the game are below:

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