The era of focusing on self-care and health from a holistic perspective in terms of mind, body, and happiness is in full swing. We’ve reported in the past about how VR is being used to help people lose weight, empathize, overcome phobias, combat racism, and so much more and that’s really only scratching the surface. But for most consumers and developers, those types of impacts are ancillary benefits to otherwise practical use-case projects or pure games. Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment is a new company founded to try and challenge that notion and its positioning its debut new title, Rave Runner, at the heart of it all.
At PAX West this weekend the company is showcasing an “immersive suite” of games that are targeted at specifically producing positivity in terms of physical, mental, and emotional well-being, including newly announced Rave Runner, as well as Microsdose VR, and Soundself.
“Our team believes in harnessing the transformative power of mindfulness and video games, and that practicing self-care can be truly ecstatic and habit-forming, never feeling like work,” said Job J. Stauffer, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment in a prepared statement. “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.”
Rave Runner is in development by Austin-based Kinemotik Studios, in partnership with Orpheus. Described as a VR “dance” title, it’s all about getting you moving as much as possible through the use of a mixture of completely immersive and therapeutic audio/visual stimulants. Here is a teaser from Stauffer on Twitter:
Burned another THOUSAND plus calories in an hour of #RaveRunner last night. I have zero interest in how I silly look and 1000% interest in how much fun I’m having and how ecstatic I feel. #SelfCare #Entertainment #VR #SneakPeek pic.twitter.com/Bv3eGrhTKj
— Job J Stauffer (@jobjstauffer) August 18, 2018
Imagine that you were the main character in a rave-soaked ballet, like a blend of stylings from Bound and Rez Infinite mixed with La Peri, but the player is the center of it all.
“We set out to make a game that emphasizes 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.” said Ashley Cooper, 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.”
As someone that is decidedly not healthy from a physical perspective and occasionally (as most people will admit) from a mental perspective as well, the concept behind Orpheus really resonates with me. Weight is something I’ve struggled with my entire life since teenage years and I’m eager to put VR apps like Rave Runner, or even Beat Saber, to the test as avenues for ways to get more physically active and happy.
In fact, Rave Runner specifically is under observation at the VR Institute of Health & Exercise for things like calorie burn and more.
“We are focused on producing and delivering the world’s most transformative immersive gaming experiences that commit to serving the well-being of their players, all with the potential to deliver pure ecstatic bliss,” said Stauffer in a private statement.
You can learn more about Orpheus at their official website and look to go hands-on with their projects, like Rave Runner, at PAX West this weekend in Seattle. Let us know what you think down in the comments below!