Home Volume: 2, Issue: Supplement 1
International Journal of Healthcare Simulation
Adi Health+Wellness
The power and influence of the theatre on immersive 360° videos
DOI:10.54531/CRTF6001, Volume: 2, Issue: Supplement 1, Pages: A63-A64
Article Type: Editorial, Article History





Three hundred and sixty-degree (360°) videos are becoming increasingly popular [1], allowing for an immersive viewing experience with high levels of fidelity, accessible via a range of devices. This is important for ease of use for training NHS staff. The videos often utilise a camera as a character of its own, the viewers seeing the narrative in first person rather than a passive third person perspective [2]. 360° video, in many ways, resembles a technological take on theatre in the round with its design being similarly based on audio amplification and the feeling of having nowhere to hide [3].


Viewers can choose which character to follow through a scenario. When paired with debriefing or training, users can observe alternative outlooks on the exact same scenario by multiple characters. The scenario also unravels around the participant and allows, in some cases, actors to speak or appeal directly to the viewer. Maudsley Learning’s work with Kings College London on the Tackling Inequalities and Discrimination Experiences in health Services (TIDES) videos implements these ideas. The role of the debriefing is comparable to the role of a theatre audience where powerful experiences shown allow you to process, before giving space to replay and re-examine from other viewpoints as we leave the theatre. Themes of Race inequality were shown through the TIDES 360° videos followed by debriefing to enhance the learners’ experience.


Users reported being unable to take a step back from the action, which can be applied as bystander training when paired with content around themes such as discrimination and equality. Users reported being left with a feeling of helplessness or desire to intervene. When discussed, participants described feeling exposed, at the centre of the action happening around them. In a real-life scenario, a person would re-position themselves to where they feel more comfortable but are unable to do so with a 360° video.

This, along with the use of ambisionic sound, resembles the theatre in the round, where actors, have their backs to audience members, creating a more intimate and realistic dynamic for staging.


360° video is an innovative tool that replicates the principles of theatre in the round to immerse learners in scenarios with a range of benefits. Producers encourage users to autonomously choose to follow a path from multiple available storylines, which creates rich debriefing discussions that enhance the learning value.


1. Bonnington C. You Can Now Watch and Upload 360-Degree Videos on YouTube. Wired. 2015. https://www.wired.com/2015/03/youtube-360-degree-video/ [Accessed on 28/06/2022]

2. Pavlik J. Experiential media and transforming storytelling: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Creative Industries and Cultural Studies. 2018;3:46–67.

3. Gurr A. Shakespeare’s Workplace: Essays on Shakespearean Theatre. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2017.