VR Playground is an experiential ride installation and public aerial performance by artist Brendan Walker and his Thrill Laboratory.
In VR Playground, riders are propelled through a series of colourful geometric virtual worlds, each driven by the action of swinging within a cubic structure. Moments of wonder, awe and trepidation elicit unexpected emotions, which are inadvertently performed to onlookers, many of whom are queuing for the ride themselves, curious to discover the secrets of these hidden worlds.
VR Playground juxtaposes the excitement and anxiety of public exhibitionism with the joy and abandonment of solitary exploration. By playing on the inability of VR technology to prevent a rider’s mind from flipping between these two modes of experience, VR Playground amplifies the emotional experience of both rider and spectator.
VR Playground is commissioned by Horizon Digital Economy Research, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, and Without Walls. It is supported by Arts Council England and produced by Thrill Laboratory, Horizon Digital Economy Research, and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.