Boing Boing 

Virtual reality creator hopes to treat anxiety attacks

New methods for treating anxiety, trauma and mental illness are emerging at the intersection of games and therapyRead the rest

Meet an artist doing provocative work with a VR headset

EMA-The-Futures-Void

Want to be less popular at cocktail parties on the West Coast? Try being a virtual reality skeptic. I can't help but feel validated, though, by this post from Wagner James Au looking back at 1992, just one of a few times in history we've been exactly as excited about VR as we are about the Oculus Rift now.

I met Mr. Au years ago when we were both writing about virtual worlds and the metaverse -- he was Second Life's official (first ever?) embedded journalist. I was writing articles about wealthy owners of virtual land and how the 3D web was our certain future. Since then I've grown leery of technologies that are mostly led by the imaginations of Snow Crash fans rather than by practical applications. I have not yet come upon anything intuitive and compelling enough to make me commit regular, daily applications of black-helmeted nausea to the agenda of my simple, one-touch daily life.

But I want to believe, honest. The coupling of alienation and novelty offered by the Oculus headwear might have interesting applications for art -- a possibility recently explored by musician Erika M. Anderson, who records as EMA. Her 2014 album The Future's Void very conscientiously examined how we mediate relationships through technology; this article by my friend Sophie Weiner about women musicians like EMA negotiating digital culture and surveillance state is worth your time.

EMA wore a VR headset on her album cover -- she's poised as if midsentence, as if in the midst of casual communication, with this great black brick obscuring all of her facial features. The VR headset also factored prominently into her recent multimedia installation, I Wanna Destroy, just presented on February 15 at MOMA's PS1 institute. Sady Doyle's write-up of the show, in all its confronting weirdness, is a cool read for anyone interested in thinking about the Oculus Rift -- and our hyper-connected culture -- in a new way.

Get Oculus Rift VR feature 'Banshee Chapter' free today

Oculus Rift fans can download 'Banshee Chapter' free today from Jamwix. Released in 2013, the 3D horror film based on H.P. Lovecraft’s From Beyond has been repurposed as a virtual reality feature.

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The Headset Revolution will be a blizzard of conflicting realities—if it happens, that is

Artists and journalists will use virtual reality to transform perception—and virtual reality will transform everything. Jason Louv stares into the Rift between promise and product.Read the rest

SpaceX's futuristic rocket design toolkit

Demonstration of SpaceX's experimental rocket design tools melding gestural interfaces, 3D design, virtual reality, and 3D printing.

Army seeks to counteract PTSD nightmares with "real-life Inception"

Danger Room reports that an Army-backed R&D project called “Power Dreaming” at Naval Hospital Bremerton in Washington State promises to help troops battle their nightmares with digital "counter-dreams": virtual dream stimuli. The Army awarded about half a million dollars to a consulting company for help developing the experiment, which is scheduled to launch next year.