It’s true that videogames can be stressful sometimes, particular if you get stuck or RND conspires against you. But the vast majority of people play videogames to enjoy themselves, whether that’s just to be entertained, to blow off some steam and relax or to try and get them in a better frame of mind.
Now a new set of virtual reality (VR) experiences making their debut this weekend at the PAX West Gaming Expo looks to take this idea to the next level. With a showcase of immersive experiences specifically targeting positive effects on both the mind and body.
Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment has partnered with several developers. First up being the Austin-based developer Kinemotik Studios. The pair have worked to create Rave Runner, a debut VR title for the studio, which is a dance-based videogame and despite being currently in Alpha can, according to Orpheus burn up to 1000 calories an hour through play.
“We set out to make a game that emphasises the pure joy of movement, that encourages players to open their arms, to begin dancing, and to feel amazing. We’re now using the universal language of dance to share the joy that we feel while listening to music we love,” explains Ashley Cooper, the Designer and Choreographer on Rave Runner. “We are beyond excited to invite everyone to join in our raves at PAX for the first time with our partners at Orpheus. We hope to inspire players everywhere to put time into entertainment that can truly give back to their own well-being, and to enjoy the experience and the results that follow.”
Metroid Prime concept artist Android Jones and the team at Vision Agency will be showcasing music and arts app Microdose VR, which has already been touring festivals such as Burning Man and Coachella and also been featured at the Smithsonian – a venue which is rapidly becoming a regular topic on VRFocus.
“Our partnerships with Kinemotik and Vision Agency are truly special, and have become a creative collaboration on a greater movement to enable players and developers across the world to practice radical self-care and self-expression that engages both the mind and body in full,” commented Robin Arnott, Co-Founder & CEO at Orpheus. “We can clearly see the incredible market potential for embodied experiences like ours on the current and next generation of take-anywhere, all-in-one VR systems that track room-scale positioning of the hands and body. Games like Beat Saber have illustrated their effectiveness as part of a wellness routine, and projects like Soundboxing helped prove this to our team as far back as 2016.”
The last experience to mention is SoundSelf, which has a particularly interesting control idea. The mediation-based scheme requires users to use their breathing and their voice to, according to Orpheus, “help clear the mind and journey deeply into a surreal reflection of oneself”.
“Our team believes in harnessing the transformative power of mindfulness and videogames, and that practicing self-care can be truly ecstatic and habit-forming, never feeling like work,” said Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Job J. Stauffer. “The novelty of yesterday’s Wii Fit and Kinect is over, and the power of today’s immersive technology is already changing lives around the world as it has my own. Virtual Reality has allowed us to ignite the flow state in a player by designing games for their sense of presence and focused attention, strengthening their motivation, creativity, and learning. We then ground these ideas in traditional self-care practices such as dance, meditation, and artistic expression, creating an entirely next level genre of truly embodied self-care entertainment.”
Those wishing to see what the trinity of titles have to offer will be able to find them at Booth #6103 at PAX West from August 31st to September 3rd. VRFocus will bring you more updates on the work done by Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment as soon as we get any news.