Extreme Laughter

Extreme VR for children.

This time, I’m not so sure I’m proud of myself. … My kind and reasonable part is not too proud or too much for. But, how devilishly it makes laugh my part: it’s too much fun! So, once again my heart wins against my reason, and with an enormous burst of laughter on top of that.
What else did you want me to do ? This idea smashed my head yesterday, and I can’t get rid of it.

I thought, very reasonably: no no, children don’t fit into your Virtual Reality models. They don’t need it – which is quite right: it’s not me with my childhood without water, electricity and shoes that’s going to tell you that I suffered a lot from it – I had a lot of fun.
So, no, they don’t need it.
On the other hand, my objection: maybe it’s bad for them…. Well, it didn’t last very long after all. Children play better than old people – and they know how to look at you with pity when you seem too caught up in the game: but it’s just a game, you know?

What else ? The day I dreamt of a kid and his mom being taken for a virtual reality walk in a children’s show, I had already slipped down the soapy slope of the big, happy anything that sometimes lodge in my mind.

So there it is: the reasonable side of me is very, very sorry, and I’m actually laughing about it, so I’m going to expand on what came to my mind yesterday about children and virtual reality.

I think we all found ourselves, at least once in our lives, attending a show made for children.
And the way a children’s theatre reacts to what’s happening on stage is absolutely extraordinary.
They’re in the story, literally.
They warn the heroes. They tell them where the bad guy is.
They laugh their asses off.
They go through all the feelings and express them with all the happiness and joy in the world.

They’re the ones who jumped out at me yesterday.
My little cousin and all his little class, watching Peter and the Wolf.
They are all here, little fireflies, colourful and transparent on the stage.
Little fireflies laughing.
Little soap bubbles throwing themselves on the wolf.
A whole cloud of little beings fleeing at the same time in all directions, with the cries and laughter of childhood.

Tulsa Ballet – Peter and the Wolf
Royal Academy of Ballet production of “Peter and the Wolf” at Rockwell Hall Center
Breakthru FIlms LTD.

Do you see them in these shows?
Can you imagine their reactions, if they are on the stage and suddenly the music changes and panics?
Can you also imagine what the director, the choreographer could create for their presence when imagining his staging?
I would love to do that –

I see them – and I love what I see.

I think that to achieve this, we have to propose small, very simple shapes: bubbles, fireflies, dragonflies, butterflies, “lums” like in Rayman, with colorful contours, that everyone has “his” representation but that it be very very simple and above all very visually beautiful, to add magic to the show. The sound, their cries, their laughter, they will have them, they will be all together (at least I hope that by then we will be done with this hell of a disease). And if ever it is necessary to stay at home…. well it will be a way for them to be happy together, with the sound by microphones. But this is an ugly future that I can’t wish for any child in the world.

As I am proposing to send about thirty children (…. yes yes yes I know) all together in virtual reality, the idea is to propose “movements” that are easy to manage for the teachers and the guides – so rather via an apparatus such as a joystick to run up go down hang on jump, without having a whole blind class bumping into each other in all directions.

From a technical point of view, the difficulty is to invent all these pretty bubbles, to give them a simple animation – once this is done, the programs rotate for all the children’s shows.

Tell me it’s wonderful, I can’t be the only one in the world to find this idea wonderful, too cheerful, too fun: can I?

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