(Photo by Adam Taylor)
Victoria Bradbury, assistant professor of new media, is using virtual reality to bring to life the story of her 10th-great-grandmother, who was accused of magically transforming herself into a blue boar in Salem, Massachusetts in 1692—an accusation that in part led to her conviction of practicing witchcraft. In Bradbury’s virtual reality game, Blue Boar VR, players revisit the world of the Salem witch trials as either the accused Mary Bradbury, her accusers, or the magical blue boar. In this collaboration with the Computer Science Department, Bradbury has been working with student research assistants Kendall Breivogel ’20, a computer science major who is helping to develop the game on Unreal Engine, and music technology major David Freund ’21, who is creating the sounds and a dynamic score. The results? As Bradbury describes, “It’s an interpretation, and it uses metaphor, visual and conceptual interpretation.” The project has already been exhibited at the IEEE-GEM Conference at Yale University.