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 right now, I’m right here to share a bit 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 might have taken our jobs, however no laborious emotions — we people are saved as cherished pets, beloved by AI for our quirky, inefficient methods. Activitude, the Digital Labor System, nonetheless gives “significant” employment and assures you that your artisanal human companionship is very sought by our A.I. purchasers, even when their requests appear… eclectic.
You would, expensive reader, stay fairly comfortably finishing an odd assortment of mildly unsettling duties for AI trying 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 chances are you’ll simply discover a deeper function lurking simply past the scenes: the story of Activitude’s evolution from VR start-up to the “human function supplier” it’s right now. 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 Software™! After which there’s Chaz… however, I wouldn’t wish to spoil Chaz for you…
Earlier than the present period of VR, I labored for eight years on narrative initiatives for a Cave Automated Digital Setting: a type of VR totally different than the HMDs (helmet-mounted shows) we’ve right now. I watched expertise evolve, even whereas observing the business climate a “VR Winter.” This was truly a fruitful time to work in VR. Decrease stakes permitted plenty 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 beneath the steerage of novelist Robert Coover.
Dwelling by way of this time, it was clear that VR was extra than simply flashes of hype, however one thing extra enduring tied into our collective need for ever extra excellent 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 finally led to the VR of right now.
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 venture 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 Mates/New Mates
“Any new graphics tech wants a demo, and each demo wants a whale.”
As a member of the house whale neighborhood, Bernice was as soon as the quintessential XR demo for all the pieces, ever. In a way forward for VR adoption, she’s a former starlet, dreaming of her glory days.
Eliza: A homage to the primary pc 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.