A MAZE. / Berlin 2015

4th International Independent Videogames Festival - April 22–25, 2015

Cyborg Dating

Sander Veenhof and Rosa Frabsnap
The Netherlands
multi-player virtual reality game
Android Phone

Cyborg Dating is a multi-player game for one 'cyborg' player teaming up with a real person to achieve a shared goal: to have a succesful date. This VR experience is not isolating its' players from the world around them because the date occurs in a virtual forest positioned at GPS-based hotspots. Walking through the forest is done by walking through public space. The person wearing the Google Cardboard VR goggles sees in which direction to go for the next story-hotspot, but the person guiding him/her knows how to get there in reality, avoiding the various obstacles. Bikes, people, canals - the project had its premiere in The Netherlands. It's an experimental way to enable safe outdoor VR entertainment, without hi-tech complicated hardware simulators or sensor devices. In a very natural way it enriches VR with a touch of reality.Besides being a practical solution, the real-time connection between the environment of the VR participant and the smartphone in the hands of the 'reality' participant is in use for scripted interactions and some gameplay. Both players see suggestions on what to say to each other, and as the date progresses additional functions appear on the smartphone of the guide which is a 'remote control' for the virtual environment. Interaction-hotspots include a virtual rose that can being given by the VR person to the 'real' person, and with the press of a button, the 'guide' can activate a romantic night sky in the virtual forest. Moments later, both participants see the 'hold hands' button. And all is set for the final challenge: how to kiss a person wearing a clumsy Google Cardboard device?