If today's video games have you feeling the banal joystick-and-buttons blues, allow New York-based graphic designer Prashast Thapan to break you free of that mould. Powered by RestBox, the so-called "world's first cushioned entertainment system," Static Lagoon is a handsfree virtual reality video game you play by sitting, standing, and looking around.
Static Lagoon is Oculus Rift-compatible, meaning that, when combined with the USB-connected RestBox, it becomes an immersive multisensory experience. Inside their headsets, players are tasked with navigating a fourth wall-breaking, Brecht-inspired world of Unity3D and Blender generated neon objects, including ferris wheels, sports cars, and jukeboxes. But the gameplay isn't as simple as your standard first-person puzzle—trapped in a "neverending" six chapter loop, "players move through a bedroom to a cab to a nightclub in the middle of the sky," by way of what the game calls "windows of opportunity," portals that you can choose to either enter or not enter by sitting or standing. "Players are always at risk of replaying a chapter when taking a window of opportunity," Static Lagoon's website explains, "but if they risk nothing they remain stuck in the loop."
It's a fascinating, physical exploration into the potentially overwhelming nature of choice—a fitting theme considering that Static Lagoon was created as Thapan's senior thesis at the Rhode Island School of Design. The game debuted at Babycastles last December, and now you can download and play it for free via itch.io or GameJolt. It's an open invitation for you to make an important decision: either keep gaming the same tired, old way, or grab yourself a RestBox and (pun inevitable) stand up for something.
Check out some stills and videos of Static Lagoon below:
Static Lagoon powered by RestBox from Prashast Thapan on Vimeo.
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