Psychology in VR

1. Overview

Virtual reality (VR) offers a unique way to tell stories and explore themes relating to how the mind works, and our inner thinking.

It is often the case that the more novel and engaging the experience, the better it will be remembered, and this will aid in the learning process. We are still at an early stage in educational VR, at a point where many different new ideas are being tried to see what really resonates with people. Below are outlined two unique and experimental experiences built around trying news ways to engage people in the process of learning about the mind and brain.

2. InMind 2 VR  

InMind 2 VR is the second installment of the award-winning VR game InMind for Android and iOS.

About the experience and its educational values:

InMind 2 takes you on a journey inside the brain’s emotions chemistry of a boy called John. You need to help to shape his future by controlling certain emotions as you travel through his neuron tissue. Your action will determine the outcome of John’s dilemmas and shape his future to come. The game has over 300 stories and 20 unique endings, which are based on your actions.

You travel through John’s neuron tissue alongside two emotion waves, and you have the option to neutralize active (colored) neurons on the way.  At the end, only one wave can reach the end of the track and the emotion that is associated with it is the one that John will feel, and it will affect his decision at those key moment.

Let me give you an example. If the joy emotion is brought up when John first speaks with the astronaut in the class, this will continue to create a destiny path that can lead John to become an astronaut at the end. However, if fear is the wave the was the victor, John will decide to take an acting class instead. It’s those key moments that change his destiny.

Sometimes we are not paying attention to them or aware of them, but our emotional experience at certain key moments in our life can shape out future forever.

You get a 3-star rating based on how you managed John to full achieve his goal at a particular role path. John can become a Rock Star, Athlete, Scientist, Star Actor, and many other professions, all for you to achieve. According to the press release, it takes over 3 hours to explore all the destinies completely.

InMind 2 visuals are stunning and it’s a slow-paced game so it’s very comfortable to play in VR. Being inside a human brain is a really superb experience in VR. The visuals look stunning in VR. Just being able to see and travel through the neuron path is a great experience.

Music and Sound:

The music is perfectly fitting and the voice over is done well, it all comes together as a high-quality experience.

What other people are saying?

A Fun and relaxing VR game which gives you an idea of how your brain’s chemistry and emotions are linked with each other. 

-Steam Store

Final Thoughts:

InMind 2 is a great and original VR title that you must experience yourself to fully appreciate the experience. InMind 2 coming to Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and OSVR on February 18, 2017, and already out there on Google Play and App store for your Android and iOS devices.

3. Where Thoughts Go 

Where Thoughts Go is VR social experience in which you record and share personal voice messages via orb-like audio creatures–launched on the Oculus Quest, offering standalone users the chance to anonymously share some of their most private, inspirational, and emotional stories with a global audience. 

About the experience and its educational values:

Originally debuted during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival as part of the Virtual Arcade, Where Thoughts Go works by asking the user a series of personal questions pertaining to their life and past experiences. Broken up into individual chapters, users record their responses onto tiny audio creatures that can then be “woken up” and listened to by other users.

“Being able to hold someone as a small creature as they open up and anonymously tell you a deeply personal story is a unique kind of relationship that the real world (or traditional media) doesn’t offer. And being exposed to those different kinds of relationships & different ways of experiencing humanity allows for all sorts of personal growth.”

Long story short, it’s unsurprising that, since its premiere, Where Thoughts Go has been the recipient of several high-profile honours, including a 2019 Webby People’s Voice award. While the social experience has been available on major PC VR platforms for some time, the convenience and accessibility of standalone technology make the Oculus Quest release the most ideal version of the experience. 

Where Thoughts Go is available now on the Oculus Quest for $9.99. According to several comments made by Rizzotto via Reddit, the independent developer is currently exploring the possibility of hand tracking compatibility as well as a new mode better suited for laying back in bed, further adding to the dream-like themes present throughout the experience.

Music and Sound:

The sound is provided by people who are recording their musings on their thoughts.

What others are saying:

Quite possibly the most beautiful and heart-warming titles we have ever reviewed in VR. The basic concept is that you are asked questions about yourself and you must answer truthfully. All those that have spent time in Where Thoughts Go before you will have already recorded their responses and are there for you to listen to while you think of your own response. Some answers can be very generic while others can be a lot more emotional and from the heart. While some questions (such as childhood dreams) can be very straight cut, some questions go a lot deeper and you really get the impression that these thoughts might be the first time these people have uttered the words out loud.

Concluding remarks:

A unique and artistic experience that has never been tried before, it’s easy to see why this is something everyone should try to see if they can connect with it.