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Mad World

Posted in by Laura Grace on 19 July 2012

Mad World 1

We've just launched Mad World, an interactive audio experience that invites you to take a trip inside three very different brains, brought to life with the help of some mind-blowing binaural audio.

Mad World is the online companion piece to Channel 4's 4 Goes Mad - a season of prime-time programmes challenging mental health stigma and discrimination. The season kicks off on Monday 23rd July, visit the website for more info.

Developed in collaboration with mental health charities Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness and Mind, Mad World explores three of the most misunderstood mental health conditions – schizophrenia, OCD and bipolar disorder.

Mad World grew out of discussions with experts and research focused on sourcing first-person experiences. The key challenges we wanted to address were:

  1. How can we create an experience that communicates the key facts and stats around mental health issues, to an audience who would probably never visit a mental health charity website? 
  2. How can we communicate the reality of living with a mental health condition? (The charities identified a concern that professional opinions often eclipse lived experience.) 

Adapted from accounts of real experiences, the binaural scenes are recorded using cutting-edge equipment, voiced by actors and transformed into immersive 360° soundscapes by award-winning sound designer Eloise Whitmore. We're delighted with how they've turned out.

The audio is mixed with playful infographic visuals - created by the hugely talented illustrator Giulio Miglietta - making the stats and facts around each condition come to life, and encouraging people to dig deeper into the issues raised in the TV season.

We're really proud of the final result. Why don't you go grab a pair of headphones and explore Mad World for yourself? (Be warned - the binaural elements can get a little spine-tingling...)

Let us know your thoughts.

Big thanks to our partners LingoBee, who undertook the Flash development and did a brilliant job making the interactive as delightful as possible. 

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