This cure for virtual reality sickness may mitigate balance disorders

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Some people experience virtual reality sickness while wearing headsets, and it's similar to motion sickness. Mayo Clinic researchers have developed Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS) to help with VR sickness, and it may one day help with other balance issues. Read the rest

Humanitarian organization warns Pokemon Go players to stay out of Bosnian minefields

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Posavina bez mina, a humanitarian organization that works to defuse landmines in the former Yugoslavia, has posted a warning to its Facebook page saying that they've been told that Pokemon Go players are venturing into active minefields to catch virtual critters, and warning people not to go into minefields to catch Pokemon, which is very good advice. Read the rest

Pokemon Go players: you have 30 days from signup to opt out of binding arbitration

Like most other online services, Pokemon Go's terms of service are a reboot of the Book of Revelations, full of bizarre horrors, each more grotesque than the last. Read the rest

Why do Pokemon avoid black neighborhoods?

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The crowdsourced database that was use to seed locations to catch Pokemon in Pokemon Go came from early augmented reality games that were played by overwhelmingly affluent (and thus, disproportionately white) people, who, in an increasingly racially segregated America, are less and less likely to venture into black neighborhoods, meaning that fewer Pokemon-catching landmarks have been tagged there. Read the rest

Pokemon Go privacy rules are terrible (just like all your other apps)

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Pokemon Go wants access to your Google account (and thus your email and Google Docs) and its privacy policy is a Kafka-esque nightmare document that lets them collect every single imaginable piece of private information about your life and share it with pretty much anyone they want to, forever. Read the rest

Pokemon player (seemingly) shot at while hunting virtual animals

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Lanceypooh, a maker of Youtube videos, was out hunting for Pokemon, playing the tulip-fever-sensation game Pokemon Go, when he seems to have trespassed on a stranger's land, drawing gunfire from the irate landholder. Read the rest

The week in Pokemon: home invasions, armed robbery, police militarization

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Pokemon Go is the game of the summer: the first really successful alternate reality game that mashes up crowdsourced maps, in-phone cameras, seriously addictive game mechanics, and (of course) a free-to-play/cash-to-accelerate slot machine mechanic that children wouldn't be allowed to stand near if it were in a casino -- in less than a week, it's lifted Nintendo's stock price by 10% and been implicated in any number of bizarre news stories: Read the rest

Oculus quietly drops DRM from its VR systems

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In May, Facebook division Oculus broke its longstanding promise not to use DRM to limit its customers' choices, deploying a system that prevented Oculus customers from porting the software they'd purchased to run on non-Oculus hardware. Read the rest

Speed-running E3

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It’s just gone E3 time, the industry-only videogame showcase...of the year? Argue that one out with PAX fans. Tuesday was opening day, and rather than go to cover the games per se - because all those announcements and videos were already out and all over, you can’t have missed ‘em- we decided to speed run it.

Mixed-reality demo displays C-3PO and R2-D2 in any room

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Magic Leap continues to roll out tantalizing demos of their mixed reality technology, this time imposing the "lost droids" scene into a typical room. Read the rest

How to make an edible virtual reality headset

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Caleb Kraft used the Google Cardboard design to make a working VR headset from graham crackers and icing. It's entirely edible, except for the lenses.

"Making an Edible Virtual Reality Viewer for Your Phone" (MAKE:)

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Making an edible Google Cardboard VR viewer out of graham crackers and icing

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Caleb Kraft used overlapping graham crackers and icing/glue to piece together a functional, edible Google Cardboard viewer whose only inedible components were the lenses (which Kraft says he could have made from edible material -- sugar? -- but lacked the time for). Read the rest

Explore The Shining in 3D

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Claire Hentschker's virtual reality trip through The Shining is even more unsettling than it sounds: thirty minutes of scenes from the movie extruded into 3D, so you can look around in all directions as the camera slowly takes you along. Yet the models are all incomplete, taken as they are from Kubrick's footage, leaving the impression of looking into the Overlook and its surrounds from a timeless, warped, supernatural viewpoint. Which is to say: it's perfect.

Shining360 is a 30-minute audio-visual experiment for VR derived from the physical space within Stanley Kubrick’s film ‘The Shining.' Using photogrammetry, 3D elements are extracted and extruded from the original film stills, and the subsequent fragments are stitched together and viewed along the original camera path.

Many thanks to the Studio for Creative Inquiry. All content derived from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining

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Second Life's Trump army lays siege to Bernie Sanders's virtual HQ with swastika cannons

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Bernie Sanders's fans in the venerable virtual world Second Life have established a HQ, "a Roman-themed hangout space in a peaceful meadow, where Bernie supporters often gather to share news of their favorite candidate," but their peace was shattered when Second Life's Donald Trump supporters laid siege to the building, firing virtual guns whose rounds exploded into swastika flags at Sanders central. Read the rest

Experience solitary confinement in VR

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The Guardian has recreated a 6x9 solitary confinement cell in VR, designed to be viewed with Google's cheap cardboard VR viewers, which uses your phone for screens. Read the rest

Fantastic radio show about virtual reality, c. 1992

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Media artist Michael Naimark writes:

In 1990, right as the first VR wave was swelling, Stewart Brand and Grateful Dead manager Jon Mcintyre concocted a scheme to produce an invitation-only 24-hour VR event modeled after the Electric Cool-Aid Acid test. They convinced Colossal Pictures, the largest soundstage in San Francisco, to host it. Dozens of demos and scores of talks were presented, by far the largest and most prominent VR event of its kind. I directed the video production. In total, 66 hours of video, both from a pro crew and a “basket full of prosumer cameras”, was shot.

Shortly after the event, David (Lawrence), Jim (McKee), and Earwax received an NEA grant to make a radio show. The funding enabled all of the video to be logged and transcribed. From it they made several versions, organized in short 1-4 minute themed sections. Their style was very “pre RadioLab”. From the New American Radio website:

Virtual Paradise—The Reality Tape (1992-93)

Earwax Productions with David Lawrence. An exciting production created in the spirit of the technology it focuses on. Virtual Paradise examines the ideas, issues, and attitudes that currently surround virtual reality. As this technology evolves, it brings with it the potential for redefining our most basic assumptions about media, experience, and reality. Virtual Paradise features many voices recorded at Cyberthon, a 24-hour virtual reality event presented by Whole Earth Institute in 1990. It also includes interviews with such visionaries as science-fiction author William Gibson, VR architect Jaron Lanier, artificial reality pioneer Myron Krueger, and Timothy Leary—all intercut with music and sound effects and shaped into a highly entertaining and insightful "virtual" tape composition.

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Oh This Crazy VR Hype

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A few weeks back, I was at the annual Game Developers Conference. GDC kicked off this year with its first-ever VRDC, two days of all-VR, all the time. On top of that, there was VR programming sprinkled across the main event schedule, too: it’s launch year for the much-touted Big Headsets.

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