The Use of 360-Degree Video to Provide an Alternative Media Approach to Paralympic Sports
This paper describes exploratory research that consists of the production and testing of a 360-degree video-prototype aiming to provide a closer perspective to Paralympic athletes’ training universe, exemplified by the wheelchair basketball. Media coverage of Paralympic sports has been changing but still represents athletes as heroes due to the overcoming of odds related to the impairment and not to the sports results. The present work considers immersive journalism and the use of virtual reality (VR) technologies as the path to an alternative framing where the athletes are portrayed as players facing a hard training routine and having sporting goals as the non-disabled ones.
The paper presents a brief description of prototype production and details the user study conducted in the aftermath with four focus groups. Feedback provided by participants indicates the suitability of the 360-degree video, when experienced with a headset and headphones, for the framing proposed and also points out narrative strategies that can be useful not only in Paralympic sports’ storytelling but in the conception of diverse narratives for 360-degree video.
KeywordsParalympic sports Wheelchair basketball Virtual reality 360 video
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