Our brain helps us form a representation of the world, and sometimes that representation of the world continues to persist despite the world itself having changed.
In augmented- and virtual-reality environments we are often represented by avatars or virtual bodies/limbs. Deep Limb Sensation (DLS) exploits this disconnection between our physical bodies and our bodies as we conceive them by having a person use their real arm to activate a "phantom" limb in a virtual world. The context in which this game-play takes place is a deep sea immersive underwater environment, in which a limb is controlled with the aim of touching another creature to accomplish a gentle act of virtual invertebrate love-making.
In the guise of a game, DLS is an experiment with people's relationships to virtual bodies, especially to highlight the point at which our innate mental conception clashes with a virtual reality. The player employs their real arm to control an imaginary tentacle. Control of the virtual tentacle is counter-intuitive and resists normal use. The player then attempts to chase their squid "mate" through the water in order to touch it....and through this symbolically couple, causing a cloud of eggs to spew forth.
The virtual tentacle is controlled via muscle contractions detected by electrodes placed on a user's arm. A bioamplifier then feeds these voltages into a computer for processing and analysis, which then results in the triggering of animations linked to the tentacle.
ImplementationDLS is conceived as a game, and therefore uses mostly game engine technologies:
- CAL3D animation library
- Open Sound Control
- Pure Data