Fast Company's Co-Create Magazine called Nonny de la Peņa one of the 13 People Who Made the World More Creative. She is the pioneer of Immersive Journalism, a groundbreaking brand of nonfiction that offers fully immersive experiences of the news using virtual reality gaming platforms. Combining her communication and technology skills with her lengthy career as a reporter, de la Peņa believes newsgames can deepen the understanding of complex stories. Her most recent project Hunger in Los Angeles creates the feeling of 'being there' as a real crisis unfolds on a food-bank line at the First Unitarian Church. Hunger was called 'one of the most talked-about' pieces at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Her other projects include the MacArthur funded Gone Gitmo, a virtual Guantanamo Bay Prison; Cap & Trade, an interactive exploration of the carbon markets built with Frontline World and CIR; Ipsress which investigates detainees held in stress positions; and Three Generations, a newsgame on the California eugenics movement that premiered at 2011 Games For Change. She also co-founded the Knight News Challenge winner Stroome.com, an online collaborative video editing platform that hosted users from 126 different countries. A graduate of Harvard University, she is a award-winning documentary filmmaker with twenty years of journalism experience including as a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine and as a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Premiere Magazine, and others. Her films have screened on national television and at theatres in more than fifty cities around the globe, garnering praise from critics like A.O. Scott who called her work 'a brave and necessary act of truth-telling."
HUNGER IN LOS ANGELES
By using immersive technologies, the project creates a sense of "being there" as a news story unfolds
Hunger in Los Angeles - A Sundance Film Festival 2012 Premiere Synopsis: Former Newsweek correspondent and documentary filmmaker Nonny de la Peña is developing a groundbreaking brand of journalism that offers a fully immersive experience of the news report. Interested in calling attention to the growing issue of hunger in the United States, HUNGER IN LOS ANGELES recreates an eyewitness account of a crisis incident on a food bank line at the First Unitarian Church in Los Angeles. De la Peña combined the game development tool Unity 3D, a head mounted display with motion tracking, and live audio she collected from the incident, to construct a simulated world in which audiences can suit up, walk around, and interact with other characters on the scene. The project has been developed at the MxR Lab, a joint lab between USC's Institute for Creative Technologies and the School of Cinematic Arts, with additional support from the Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism where de la Peña was a research fellow for the past two years.
Virtual Guantanamo Bay prison funded by the MacArthur Foundation, prototyped at BAVC and constructed inside Second Life. The installation brings users through a virtual detention inside the prison camp as an exploration into the loss of habeas corpus rights. Documentary footage from Unconstitutional is embedded to create spatial narrative.
Truth and Consequence An exploration of the use of children in psychology experiments and home economics departments over the past century. Were the rights of children violated for science? An ongoing project.