Social VR experience attract Japan fans
On January 1st we opened a medieval themed social VR experience to the public on the Rec room platform. From day one people started flocking to the medieval fantasy world where they can visit a tearoom in space, shoot an attacking line of archers, and try tameshigiri (traditional sword testing) in VR or on a flat computer screen. Mimir built the world for the Tajimi Tourism Association with funding from Gifu Prefecture. We were literally invaded by hoards of gamers during the first days after opening, rising to one of the more popular rooms on the platform.
Why samurai in space?
The idea of the experience is to connect the dots for people interested in Japanese history and culture. The focus of the world is a tearoom, and the focus of a tearoom is tea utensils. This pottery was extremely highly valued by the samurai. The tearoom itself also became an important meeting place for warlords and their allies.
It became a space for sensitive discussions in a time when war was ravaging the country. Tea bowls made in the Mino Province, where Tajimi is located, were highly valued by these warriors and bore witness to events that shook the nation. The most famous of the tea masters came under suspicion for spying. They were forced to commit suicide by seppuku (harakiri). In short, we have created an environment where young adults can experience these stories and discover how pottery and history are deeply interlinked in Japan. It is part of Tajimi City's promotional activities, where we not only tell stories, but have people experience them from the comfort of their homes.
We chose to design and build the experience in Rec room because of it's easy to use creative tools and popularity. We hold events every month where Hans Karlsson, our CTO, steps in the role of a tea master and guides people through a simple tea ceremony. This is one of the greatest advantages of VR - to be able to share the same room with anyone, wherever they may be, and have a conversation. Just like in real life, we can meet and engage people face-to-face in a world we experience together.
These conversations often last for an hour or more. This should be compared to static web pages or even video, which rarely keeps people's attention for more than a few seconds. We have found Rec room to be an excellent place to engage young adults. We are keeping our eyes on new, even more powerful social VR platforms expected to open this year, including Horizon from Facebook.
Crossing borders with experiential design
Mimir is uniquely positioned to connect people with experiences across borders. We are a multinational team with fluency in the cultures, languages and technologies needed to open up Japan to the world in an entirely new way. We are employing both social VR as well as other tools, such as our portable showroom, to make people, objects and places accessible to anyone, anywhere.
Anybody is welcome to try out our virtual samurai world in Rec room; all you need to do is click the button below. We strongly recommend using a headset, as a flat screen cannot convey the full experience.
Please also feel free to inquire about our portable showroom or any other services and tools we provide.