A truly inspired and rather bewildering journey to be taken on thanks to Mirage Mahal, the company that developed the RABBITHOLE//VR experience, at Girls School in Northbridge.
Director David Meyer, who I spoke to after the session, said that the experience tells a story of the contradictions and falseness of cryptocurrency in the modern world, and while this is briefly mentioned in the layered voice-overs at the beginning, the story feels more in tune as a cautionary tale about technology in general.
Things start out quite loud and confronting in the state-of-the-art Oculus headset, with bold images and sharp objects filling your eyes until you suddenly find yourself in a cave reminiscent of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince except lighter, and with more tech screens and less zombie people.
The voice that guides you through several choices details how humans have brains that work as complex operating systems yet we never update the hardware, thus we rely on external forms of information, which leads to greater technology, then anxiety, and then an overthrow of the physical limitations.
I have seen and heard this kind of story before of technology erasing mankind because of their feeble bodies, but the execution of this story done by Mirage Mahal in RABBITHOLE // VR is fun to experience.
The graphics are good as you can get with an independent, small-scale digital arts studio working in VR, but if you’ve played Journey then it just feels comfortably quaint.
I particularly loved the use of scale and colours found in all of the scenarios, where creatures or objects will be a thousand feet tall and made from striking contrasts or red or green that will stick in your brain long after you’re forced back into the harsh afternoon sun outside.
The director said they were always working on and improving the system, and with a few more passes at the technical and writing side, I think RABBITHOLE//VR could be a truly fantastic experience for those unfamiliar with VR.