To preface this experience I would like to inform you of a new practice which I plan to continue until the new year:
A content detox, 60 days of reducing my intake to as little as I can while still maintaining my work projects and social life. Meaning no podcasts, audibles, tv shows, movies, books, articles, and lectures. Of course sometimes an article needs to be read but the amount I have reduced has been significant. (Digest more than you consume)
I have felt it activates my creativity, allows me to be more present in conversations, absorb the little content I am still consuming at a much more effective rate, and reactivate my love for music in a profound way.
With all this being said, I walked into Trans Tech with the goal of only meeting incredible people and new technologies. With zero lectures to attend I had time to try every piece of tech available.
I used brain scanning devices that allowed me to see real time mapping of the inner workings of my mind. Including allowing me to use an Xbox controller to dive into my neuro-pathways and see a real time measurement of my brain waves. As I relaxed or focused intently the whole experience changed!
Neten- meditation tech (Make sure to click google translate) out of Japan has next level vibrational beds made of silicon, honeycomb material along with magnetic disc helmets that allows your body to vibrate to Shinto mantras while your head absorbs healing frequencies through electromagnetism. This is the most multi-dimensional, alien inspired conference sponsorship I have ever stepped into, I loved it!
My favorite was a company called Looxid Labs out of Korea that has developed hardware to connect your brain to VR. Their EEG device, Looxid Link, integrates seamlessly into Vive headsets (Oculus and PSVR coming soon) allowing you to control your virtual world only using your mind. They also have some pretty awesome experiences to go along with it.
In one, players find themselves inside a room filled with boxes. They are prompted to relax their mind, clear their thoughts and drop into an alpha or theta state. Once they do the boxes begin to lift off the ground the levitate towards the ceiling. The more consistent the meditative state, the higher the boxes go. As soon as their mind begins to wander the box fall to the ground and they start over. I WAS OBSESSED it felt like I was in a lucid dream. The potentiality to create open worlds with this type of mind training in a story driven format can single-handedly change our societies stress levels, well-being, productivity, and mental health in an enjoyable way!
That’s the key here; joy, celebration and happiness is all that matters to me when I talk about impacting the masses.
I like to say that right now all the wellness technology is food that is really good for you but tastes like S***! In order to reach the mainstream we need this food to taste like gods gift to earth. Outside of Looxid Labs there was nothing that was actually FUN in the whole conference of 40 plus companies.
That is why Andromeda will rise to the top, stepping away from the closed bubble of biohackers and neuroscientists into a world of Gen Z gamers, and soccer moms alike, that want to enjoy themselves while upgrading their body and soul.
QUESTION I HAVE BEEN PONDERING
This brings me to a thought I have had for years. How do we gamify social good in order to allow acts of kindness to be rewarded in a virtual world?
With the rise of in-game purchases and micro-transactions to customize your avatar, become a stronger character, or just show off in front of your friends- there seems to be an opening for a gamified system to come in to achieve our planetary goals through play.
There are two resources that inspired me to dive into this idea years ago, Questival was a city based scavenger hunt that had you moving through your world with 6 of your closest friends. The rules were simple, complete items on a checklist for points, you have 24 hours, and the most points got you and your crew an all expenses paid trip to Peru.
Some of the smaller point items could be “record a video of you spinning in circles in the middle of a shopping mall”, while the larger points consisted of “build a throne out of fruit in the grocery store and reenact a Game of Thrones scene”. They submit the video or image, it gets reviewed in real time, and they receive points that show where they stand in the leaderboard.
The other is a book called Gamify by Brian Burke where my favorite case study was an iPad app that allowed kids in hospitals to play a detective for their own bodies. Navigating crime scenes where the more specific their answers were about pain points, symptoms, and pain levels allowed them to solve the mission happening in their own bodies and move forward in the game. This significantly increased doctors abilities to diagnose the children and effectively treat them.
A fusion of these ideas in VR could be remarkable. I would love to know your thoughts so we can work towards this planetary goal with fun as the foundation.
PROJECTS I HAVE MY EYES ON
These protests have been going on for over 5 months, and they have been beyond brutal with multiple deaths of non-violent protestors that the Chinese government is claiming are “suicides”. These students decided to do something about these injustices and created a game that simulates the real experience. The developers are completely concealing their identities in fear of persecution by their communist government since they were also actively involved in the protests that are deemed illegal. This is what video games should be based around, showing us how to peacefully organize and come up with solutions to create positive social change.
is a new 360 VR film that is an empathy generator created by the World Bank in response to the 3 Billion people on the planet living in poverty impacted by fragility, conflict, and violence on a daily basis. They showed the film during the World Bank Group’s Annual Meetings last month for a large group of delegates. This was done with 180+ headsets synchronized viewing to show them the impact of the development programs they are creating to the actual people they aim to serve. The video will be available on YouTube, Veer, Facebook, Oculus and other VR headsets.
proves that VR Theater has arrived, and it is even stranger than I anticipated. The craziest part of this experience to me is that some of the dialog is scripted and done by the in-game characters while other pieces are actual actors that can join into the game at any time and interact with users live. Literally acting, performing, and getting the player to do weird, funny, and often embarrassing things in front of a live room of other players. The virtual world is about to get even stranger, folks.
January 7th-10th | Las Vegas, NVm – Myself, our CFO – John, and our Marketing Director – Swan, will be attending the conference. Swan will be on a panel about VR during the conference while John and I explore all the latest and greatest tech. I know, our lives are so hard!
January 17-19 | San Antonio TX – Our big outing, the PAX gaming conference will see a large Andromeda presence in less than 7 weeks! We hope to have some of our local Austin fans come to San Antonio to check it out, we would love to see all your beautiful faces!
LATEST WITH OUR TITLES
We are thrilled to see Audio Trip getting the notoriety it deserves in the world of health and wellness, check out this recent article that features us in the top 25 games for getting your sweat on. This trend brings us fitness stacks which are being suggested all over the internet. Players use specific games in succession to make the most of your VR workout experience and hit every body part!
On this note, the choreography tool is COMING SOON, this allows you to create your own moves and share with other players. I just touched down in Austin where I will be with the team beta testing this before it is updated into the game.This means you can create your own works by adding barriers to squat under (leg workout) side to side gems to grab in quick succession (obliques) or anything else you can think of!
As we get closer to releasing SoundSelf we are also getting closer to finalizing our study that suggests that our video game technology can achieve beneficial meditative flow states, similar to those resulting from taking psychedelic drugs. Here is what we know thus far:
1) We are undergoing a pilot study, measuring the brainwave impact of playing SoundSelf against a control of a VR guided-meditation experience, to identify if there’s any quantifiable validity to the anecdotal comparisons players have been making between SoundSelf and psychedelic experiences.
2) Measurements from one user, analyzed for a preview of the full pilot study, show three critical brainwave markers that are characteristic of a psychedelic experience: First, a radical decrease of alpha in the the back of the brain. Second, an increase in gamma at many brain regions. Thirdly, a sharp decline of activity in the regions of the brain associated with the default mode network (used for self-identification and mind-wandering).
3) This is the first piece of scientific evidence (that we know of) showing a psychedelic response to a video game.
4) The same user showed markers of deep rest and meditation immediately after the experience. Specifically, we see a decrease in high-energy brainwave activity (Beta, High-Beta, and Gamma) in the right hemisphere, and an increase in low-energy brainwave activity (delta, theta, and alpha) in the posterior regions.
Until next time,