We’re excited to convey our darkly comedic and surrealist sci-fi journey to PlayStation VR! As we open the world of Digital Digital Actuality to new gamers as we speak, I’m right here to share just a little about its inspiration.
Put On Your Headset, Discover Your Calling
VVR performs like an prolonged sci-fi fever dream. Within the close to future, AI could have taken our jobs, however no arduous emotions — we people are saved as cherished pets, beloved by AI for our quirky, inefficient methods. Activitude, the Digital Labor System, nonetheless supplies “meaningful” employment and assures you that your artisanal human companionship is extremely sought by our A.I. shoppers, even when their requests appear… eclectic.
You might, pricey reader, reside fairly comfortably finishing an odd assortment of mildly unsettling duties for AI seeking to be entertained by that human je ne sais quoi. Maybe a gruff pinwheel named “Sprinkle Tooth” wants his backyard tended or “Butter” is in good want of a bread slathering.
Or, or you could simply discover a deeper goal lurking simply past the scenes: the story of Activitude’s evolution from VR start-up to the “human purpose provider” it’s as we speak. Alongside the way in which, placed on VR headsets in VR to leap between digital realities or just vacuum up actuality along with your Activitude Model Poly Cleanup Device! After which there’s Chaz… however, I wouldn’t need to spoil Chaz for you…
Earlier than the present period of VR, I labored for eight years on narrative tasks for a Cave Automated Digital Surroundings: a type of VR completely different than the HMDs (helmet-mounted shows) we have now as we speak. I watched know-how evolve, even whereas observing the business climate a “VR Winter.” This was truly a fruitful time to work in VR. Decrease stakes permitted a variety of risk-free experimentation by researchers tinkering away at universities. There was room for not-typical creators to mess around with the tech like writing college students underneath the steerage of novelist Robert Coover.
Dwelling by this time, it was clear that VR was extra than simply flashes of hype, however one thing extra enduring tied into our collective want for ever extra good immersion in fantasy worlds. One thing that goes way back to 360 work in Roman Villas, perhaps additional. The efforts of researchers and artists to repeatedly iterate on this promise ultimately led to the VR of as we speak.
However… a lot of what got here earlier than was forgotten: archived, like Activitude’s historical past. VVR started in Fall 2015 as a hackathon challenge impressed by the surreal, usually comedic expertise of watching an business develop up, re-invent itself and overlook itself. Activitude’s evolution and characters are very a lot impressed by lived expertise. VVR is as a lot a love letter to VR as a cautionary story that concurrently celebrates and pokes enjoyable in any respect our technological aspirations from AI and thoughts switch to gig labor and good cities. However, at its coronary heart, VVR can be a comedic journey that one can simply expertise and luxuriate in.
Previous Associates/New Associates
“Any new graphics tech needs a demo, and every demo needs a whale.”
As a member of the house whale neighborhood, Bernice was as soon as the quintessential XR demo for the whole lot, ever. In a way forward for VR adoption, she’s a former starlet, dreaming of her glory days.
Eliza: A homage to the primary laptop therapist, her AI developed to run a Digital Journey Company. She believes “armchair tourism” soothes the senses.
Hernandez: At the moment an artichoke and CEO of “Activate,” an older platform for hiring digital AI assistants. He likes to work out and will get cranky with out his vitamin C dietary supplements.