Andrew Mason Creative Technologist

6x9: Virtual Reality Solitary Confinement

6x9 is the Guardian’s first virtual reality experience, placing you inside a US solitary confinement prison cell.

As the creative technologist, I was responsible for overseeing the interaction design, technical development and delivery of the VR experience on multiple platforms including GearVR, Google cardboard and 360 video.

I also designed and developed the WebGL promotional site that used optimised 3D assets and shaders for desktop and mobile.

A custom in-browser editor was created for fine-tuning animation timings and help debugging.

The 6x9 trailer provides a glimpse into the virtual reality experiences and includes some of the voices you hear while in the prison cell.
The in-browser editor was used to create the website animations and tune shader settings.

The prison cell was rendered in real-time on VR devices while a 360 video was created for other platforms and is available on YouTube.

A dedicated mobile app was built first launching on the Samsung GearVR and later Google DayDream. The 360 video version appeared on Google Cardboard and YouTube.

Unity was used for interactivity prototyping and audio positioning.

6x9 appeared at Tribeca film festival where Robert De Niro watched it. He later talked about the experience on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon

6x9 was also featured in SXSL at the White House where policy makers had the chance to experience it for themselves.