In the womb

Description

" In the womb " is an experimental game/ art installation that desires to create a representation of an experience that cannot be otherwise achieved – living in a mother’s womb.

It was created in 48 hours at Exile Autumn Jam by Nina Croitoru, Andrei Livadariu, Karl Flodin and Adan Silva.

The game combines state-of-the-art technology like the Oculus Rift and motions sensors with analog input from the real environment to create an eerie yet marvelous experience.

The process of life development in the womb is, in essence, tightly connected to the natural.
The umbilical cord connects you to life and nature in a non-mediated way.
In this experiment, you are also connected. Not by one, but by multiple cords tying you to devices, to the computer, to the artificial.
One is conceived and born again. Not as a natural being but as an artificially enhanced one.

The player physically enters the simulation by entering the special engineered created for the purpose of the game. The idea behind this contraption/space is to suspend players from reality, to provide a sense of a safe closed space (similar to the blanket or tablecloth tents we used to make when we were young), to restrict movement in a similar way an actual womb would in the later stages of a pregnancy and to offer an alternate way of interacting and being interacted with.

During the playthrough, the artificial womb can be interacted with by the other participants or spectators, turning the whole experiment into a performance act. The bystanders can touch or gently push the person inside the womb, much like family members would touch and poke the mother’s belly trying to feel inside. The player in exchange will perceive this sensory feedback while being completely hooked and immersed into the world. Much like in a real life situation these occurrences might trigger curiosity, comfort or discomfort.

The Oculus Rift changes the way the players experience the environment around them. Rather than viewing themselves in an improvised space made out of gym mattresses, pillows and sheets, the players experience the world through the 3D computer graphics. This is not only meant to enhance their environment but to also change their bodies, transforming them into a digital representation of a genderless baby. The Oculus follows the movement of the head and functions exactly as a real head would – acquiring visual information about the environment and helping the player establish the boundaries of his new body and the boundaries of the new space he or she is embodying.

The bluetooth motion sensors provided us with a way to record body movement and translate it into animation in the digital world. Unlike the Kinect, Wii and other movement to animation translation techniques, the bluetooth motion sensors we used allowed the tracking of movement without the need of the subject being visible to a camera. That way players can be sealed up in the installation/artificial womb.

Role

Texture Artist, Vision Holder, Game Designer

For

Exile Game Jam

Date

November 2013

Type

Game , VR, Simulation, Art Installation

Awards

Bagpipe Award for Best Experience