Fringe Review: Digital Playground

A free playground on the ground floor of the State Library offering six Virtual Reality stations and a hands-on demonstration of the Google Cube technology.

By

Presented by Adelaide Fringe
Reviewed 22 February 2016

Located on the ground floor of our beautiful State Library, the Adelaide Fringe is presenting a showcase of virtual reality stories and a Google Cube to play with.

Six booths each present a 360 degree story ranging in length from a few minutes to about 10 minutes. There’s a psychedelic music clip from Alice in Wonderland, through to an intense personal retelling of the aftermath of the 2005 bombing on a Circleline train in London.

With VR goggles and headphones, the wearer can look in any direction including up or down, and be within the scene. As voices tell their story, you’re invited to travel within that world from the safety of your seat. Some VR worlds are film, some pictures, some made of sketches. One is even an interactive game with a handset to play. How ever the tale is told, you’re totally immersed in the thick of it.

Hold the Google Cube in your hands and rotate it to switch films.
Hold the Google Cube in your hands and rotate it to switch films.

Beyond the six VR booths is a darkened room where sits the extraordinary Google Cube. It’s a large dice with each side representing a short film, complete with spoken dialogue or a soundtrack. You hold the cube in your hands and flip it around, watching a projection mimic your movements and displaying the film associated with that side of the cube. Turn the cube only 45 degrees and you’ll be watching two or three films side by side (see the image above). Watch just one film and you can rotate it sideways just by angling the cube. While it’s hard to fathom any immediate practical use for the Google Cube, it’s certainly fun to play with and may, perhaps, one day be the way we change television channels!

The Digital Playground is completely free, as are all the activities. Watch one or watch all six of the VR stories, then slip into the backroom to experience Google’s latest technological toy. Virtual Reality headsets are not recommended for children under 13 years of age, however the Google Cube exhibition is suitable for all ages.

Immerse yourself in something wondrous!

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Rating (out of 5):  5

Venue: Ground Floor, State Library of South Australia, North Terrace, Adelaide
Season: until 13 March 2016
Duration: 5 – 60 minutes
Tickets: FREE
Bookings: No bookings required

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