This summer, a lot of people will be going to real world places. I visited a truly memorable place in the virtual world: the Museum of Other Realities, an app available on SteamVR that hosts a joint showcase of immersive art and storytelling through July 17th.
The XR3 Festival, a joint production between Cannes XR, Tribeca and NewImages, was originally presented a few weeks ago alongside Tribeca’s in-person film festival this year, but is back in action this month. Cannes and Tribeca had a similar showcase last summer on The Museum of Other Realities app, but this year’s offerings are new. The app is currently available for free, with XR3 entry divided into three additional purchases of $ 15 different. It can be added, but it’s a fascinating artistic journey if you have a team of video games and virtual reality equipment.
I usually went to face-to-face events in Tribeca before the 2020 pandemic occurred, where I would experience face-to-face physical installations that also involved VR and AR technology. Tribeca resumed his face-to-face experiences this year for his film festival, but also continued his VR experience with remote tickets as an alternative way to attend. I love the idea: it allows people who can’t afford to travel or have special access to Tribeca’s hard-to-see immersive storefronts, the opportunity to put on some VR headsets at home and see what some of these pieces are specials I like. Immersive art at home has been the way I’ve been able to attend Cannes and Sundance without flying. I would still like to go somewhere personally in the future, but I want these virtual spaces to coexist as a permanent feature of festivals.
Many of the RV shorts are animated. Some struggle with issues of race, identity, and history. To run the applications you need a VR compatible gaming PC that works with Steam or Viveport and a VR headset connected to PC. Oculus Quest or Quest 2 work with a USB-C cable to connect to the PC, but the experience was sometimes wrong. The HP Reverb G2 (or any Windows Mixed Reality headset), Valve Index, HTC Vive, or Oculus Rift S are other solid options. I wish this festival could work completely on an Oculus Quest 2 without a connected PC, but we’re not there yet.
There are a few things to keep in mind: there are around 55 experiences in general, but ticket sales make you choose one of the three showcases (Cannes, Tribeca or NewImages), which is a bit confusing. Also, the DLC download is a large set of multigigabyte files, so you’ll need to set it up in advance. So far I have lived mainly the Tribeca offerings; some of my favorite things were the awesome animated VR movies (Madrid Noir, now available as a standalone Quest app, and Paper Birds).
Not all of Tribeca’s innovative interactive art exhibits are available in the Museum of Other Reality’s XR3 showcase, but trying VR art at home has been a pandemic tradition that I want to continue for a long time.