Hello // Worlds On A Wire

So happy I finally know how to set up the oculus on my own! This is something that I’ve seen done many times but have been too intimidated to try and seems like a breakthrough! The Rift was surprisingly easy to set up with Haiyi from class- we never got the remote to work, but the controllers were working fine.  At one point, the MSI restarted without warning, and when we booted everything back up, I realized there was no way to skip ahead through the experience to get to the crash point, which would’ve been useful.

I tried a few experiences including, “Dear Angelica”, “Henry”, and Google Earth VR, which were all very different stylistically. The storyline in “Dear Angelica” was so heartfelt, with a subject matter that’s highly personal and relatable at the same time. The aesthetic reminds me of tiltbrush strokes and it was nice to float in space among words. The elements would also fade away if I got too close, which felt really elegant and natural. The tone reminds me of “Notes On Blindness”, both in its narration and illumination of certain parts of the scenes. “Henry”, on the other hand, felt a bit more like a kid’s film was adapted to a VR movie, and I didn’t leave the experience feeling like I fully understood why I was there.  Google Earth VR seems like a natural extension of the browser version- soaring through the tops of buildings was really cool, and the point of view while floating felt hyperreal or game engine-like, especially with the sound effects. Scanning the Earth is conceptually a crazy idea, and beyond its entertainment value I’m sure there are a ton of practical applications for it.  For me though, it holds up as an experience on its own, and the ability to click through to different cities felt like a narrative in its own way.

I read somewhere that VR experiences are stored and last in your memory in the same way that real memories are, and whether or not that’s true, “Dear Angelica” and Google Earth VR are definitely lasting in my mind in a visceral way.  Overall, it was really nice to see a range of experiences, and I feel so much more excited about trying out more, now that setting it up isn’t such a scary thought!