Two warring gods in Mesoamerica are locked in a battle over the start of the next calendar age. Time is stopped.
Before getting started, people attending TED in Vancouver and going into The Void needed to pull the Rapture headset over their eyes. They were already decked out in a suit which includes a backpack and vibrating vest.
When the headset is on and the person truly enters The Void, they see a replica of the area in VR. It’s a seamless way to transfer a person from a real environment to a virtual one.
This is what some of the world’s richest and most powerful people saw, (they spent some $6,000-per-ticket to attend TED). We know Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford both went inside. Inspired by Indiana Jones, the story they experienced is called Curse Of The Serpent’s Eye. Spielberg and Ford worked together on Indiana Jones, so if you’re a fan of those movies you might get a little giggle from the realization that yes, there were snakes.
I spoke to Tracy Hickman, an accomplished author of speculative fiction and director of story development at The Void about how VR differs from other mediums.
“When you write a book you send it out into the world and you’re not there for the performance,” he said. But in VR “there’s a wonderful moment where you find yourself completely surrounded by the setting you’ve created and face to face with the creature you’ve created. There’s a fulfillment from that…”
Hickman described an interesting time dilation anecdote about The Void. He said people have described their time as a wonderful 15-minute experience when they actually spent half that time in The Void. In Gear VR experiences I’ve found the opposite, thinking I spent 20 minutes when I actually spent 40 minutes experiencing something virtually. Personally, I’ve found that in more active VR experiences that worked well, like Oculus Medium or Budget Cuts, five minutes disappeared before I felt even a minute or two had passed.
“People in The Void don’t want to rush, they want to take their time and absorb the experience,” Hickman said. “The Void is the exact opposite of where the rest of VR seems to be heading. We don’t see ourselves as making games, we see ourselves as making experiences.”
When a person in The Void presses their hand against the grooves on the wall they feel actual grooves, and a portal opens in front of them into another chamber — a great throne room. The walls open in the real world to allow this passage. People can sit in the throne. An explosion will vibrate their body and they’ll feel actual heat, as if they are on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland. I won’t spoil too much else about the experience but if you’re interested in checking it out The Void is heading to China soon and after that you’ll have to make a pilgrimage out to Utah to visit their main facility.