Inspired Movement in Hypatia
If movement is the act of changing physical location or position exerting influence over our psychological and physiological state of being, an inspired movement could exert influence over our well being. A state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity, not taking us to a utopian destination but on a journey of exploration, discovery, and fulfillment.
The natural world limits the possibilities of inspired movement as we are rarely physically near what could inspire us the most to move. When we visit Yellowstone National Park, we gaze around in wonder at the natural beauty surrounding us. When we visit a European city, we are dazzled by the centuries-old architecture; moving forward, looking up and around at new and exciting experiences, stimulating the axons in our brain and strengthening the muscles in our body. Then we leave to return to our daily grind or never arrive due to the expense. Unfortunately, proximity is often the thief of inspired movement, robbing our innate sense of wonder and curiosity.
Connected smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, and computers have certainly removed the limits of proximity but still only offer experiences detached from movement, limiting the potential of creativity, exploration, and socialization. Virtual and mixed reality, on the other hand, provide a unique platform for inspired movement, creating opportunities for engagement not found in nature or with non-immersive technologies. To get a sense of movement in virtual worlds all one has to do is look at the thousands of videos on YouTube of VR demonstrations where users are in a constant state of motion, employing the use of fingers, wrists, arms, neck and legs. A range of motion never found in front of a computer screen, a phone or a TV and increasingly not found in the real world.
But the act of movement alone in a virtual or mixed reality world is only part of the equation to move toward a state of health, happiness and overall well-being. The rest falls on the environment to elicit not only a reaction from the user but an action to advance their own desire to engage. An environment to motivate the next movement forward, to stir an emotion or inspire the desire to create. Not all virtual worlds will have this sense of inspired movement baked into their DNA but the ones who do, stand a chance to make a real difference. TimefireVR’s virtual world of Hypatia is the first of these virtual worlds.
Everything about Hypatia; from the cobblestone streets to the art galleries, theater, and photo museum is built to inspire movement, curiosity, and engagement. Every scene rendered in vivid color and detail inviting the user to write their own story, to begin their own journey. Movement is the palette offered by TimefireVR’s team of artists and engineers for users to paint their actions with. Movement for enjoyment. Movement to enhance a skill. Movement to learn. Movement to heal. Movement to purchase items users are moved by.
Where many VR games dictate movement to the user, Hypatia invites movement from the user. A gamified experience but not a game. A virtual world grown from the desire to move people to their next inspired action, promoting a rich and dynamic environment to build an engaged community on.
One could almost call it a movement.
Originally published at timefirevr.com on April 4, 2017.