A generational awakening to the importance of daily self-care is upon us, and the gaming industry is no exception. This Labor Day weekend, Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment debuts its new initiative at the PAX West Gaming Expo in Seattle at the Washington State Convention Center. The team will be showcasing an immersive suite of ground-breaking games that have already proven to produce positive effects on the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of their players.
“Our team believes in harnessing the transformative power of mindfulness and video games, and that practicing self-care can be truly ecstatic and habit-forming, never feeling like work,” said Job J. Stauffer, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer at Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment. “The novelty of yesterday’s Wii Fit and Kinect is over, and the power of today’s immersive technology is already changing lives around the world as it has my own. Virtual Reality has allowed us to ignite the flow state in a player by designing games for their sense of presence and focused attention, strengthening their motivation, creativity, and learning. We then ground these ideas in traditional self-care practices such as dance, meditation, and artistic expression, creating an entirely next level genre of truly embodied self-care entertainment.”
The team at Orpheus Self-Care Entertainment is working in partnership with Austin-based Kinemotik Studios producing their debut title, Rave Runner. In its initial alpha phase of development, the ground-breaking dance title has already been observed in Fitbit data to have helped burn over one thousand calories per hour of gameplay on its test team. The title is now in closer observation at the VR Institute of Health & Exercise within labs at San Francisco State University’s kinesiology department in an effort to measure and improve its design before launch.
“We set out to make a game that emphasizes the pure joy of movement, that encourages players to open their arms, to begin dancing, and to feel amazing. We’re now using the universal language of dance to share the joy that we feel while listening to music we love,” said Ashley Cooper, designer and choreographer on Rave Runner. “We are beyond excited to invite everyone to join in our raves at PAX for the first time with our partners at Orpheus. We hope to inspire players everywhere to put time into entertainment that can truly give back to their own well-being, and to enjoy the experience and the results that follow.”
Also coming to PAX for the first time, Orpheus has embarked on an official creative partnership with Metroid Prime concept artist Android Jones and his team at Vision Agency to showcase Microdose VR, which combines art, music, and dance to transport the player into a world of fascinating shapes, colors and sound. The project is already a sold-out attraction at arts and music festivals across the world from Coachella to Burning Man, including a recent residency at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Microdose VR is also under an intensive private study to help integrate biofeedback as players are induced into a creative flow state and thrust into a new dimension of excitement, relaxation, and inspiration.
“Our partnerships with Kinemotik and Vision Agency are truly special, and have become a creative collaboration on a greater movement to enable players and developers across the world to practice radical self-care and self-expression that engages both the mind and body in full,” said Robin Arnott, Co-Founder & CEO at Orpheus. “We can clearly see the incredible market potential for embodied experiences like ours on the current and next generation of take-anywhere, all-in-one VR systems that track room-scale positioning of the hands and body. Games like ‘Beat Saber’ have illustrated their effectiveness as part of a wellness routine, and projects like ‘Soundboxing’ helped prove this to our team as far back as 2016.”
Arnott is also the lead developer of SoundSelf, a decidedly ‘technodelic’ meditation based on unconventional game design using one’s voice and breath to help clear the mind and journey deeply into a surreal reflection of oneself. “Futurist Ray Kurzweil once said that, ‘What we spend our time on is probably the most important decision we make,’” claimed Arnott. “Our generation seeks a deeper integration of consciousness and mindfulness in our time spent experiencing modern technology and entertainment. It is our objective at Orpheus to produce and deliver the best transformative experiences possible that can offer an opportunity for players to truly entertain their best selves.”