ESCAPISM ISN'T SHAMEFUL, BUT USEFUL
When you are down, do you ever think about escaping reality for a moment to find a peaceful space to feel better? Escape is an online social plaform inspired from the adventures of Alice in Wonderland where Alice jumped through a rabbit hole to escape to another world. Even though Alice knew that she would eventually leave her dream world, when she returned to reality she remembered all the things she learned during her adventure and kept these values with her as she grew up. Like the rabbit hole, Escape is a space for people to escape and meet others for a little while.
Users design avatars to reflect their current feelings, share some personal information and select elements that represent their hobbies, passions or interests. Escape then screens and curates available users that you can talk to that share similar interests or purposes. As you fall down the rabbit hole, you can select a person to talk to (or search for a friend). If the invitation is accepted, users will arrive in their own space where they can land, talk or solve a puzzle together.
New Paper II // 2020
The Fourth Place:
The Future of Online Social Spaces
TUTORS: Allison Crank &
Raphael Penasa for TygerTyger
Sometimes we all need to escape for a bit, reconnect with others to be able to tackle our own reality and problems. VRChat, RecRoom and other online social platforms provide a space to do this, but often they encourage the poor user behaviours or meaningless conversations. It's rare to have a genuine conversation with strangers in these spaces since they aren't designed to protect users and encourage that type of dialogue. Escape tries to do just that.
ESCAPE IS DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE MEANINGFUL & GENUINE CONVERSATIONS WITH STRANGERS
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
Escape has three steps to the User Journey.
1. Personalisation: Users design their own character avatar, choosing the colors and expressions that best fit their mood. Users choose the languages that they prefer to use.
2. Filter: As you fall down the rabbit hole, objects will fall with you, you can select three items that represent you, your hobbies or what you would like to talk about. The system will then classify you according to your feelings today.
3. Conversations: When you find someone you want to start a conversation with, you fall and arrive together in a space where you can talk and solve a puzzle.
VIDEO: Storyboard of the concept
USING THE VIRTUAL TO ENHANCE THE REAL
Escape is designed to protect users and help you find that right person to talk to. The key to achieving this, is the screening system and environment design.
There are several screening process in this game. First is the character design, then language selection, gender and age. Secondly, as you fall, you are protected by a bubble. You can only see others when you are close to them; the bubble turns transparent as you approach them. Using their handwriting, users write down their current feeling. This script encircles the bubble so you can also choose people to talk to according to what they write around their bubble.
Escape's intention is for people to find someone who can resonate with them, someone who can understand or empathize with their feelings. Lastly, when you arrive at the chatting space with your partner, you can also see other people in the other spaces floating in the distance, to encourage a sense of community, but you can only hear the voices in your own personal chat space. In this way, the space protects users' personal privacy.
Escape allows you to step away, enjoy and release some pressure or stress. When you return to reality, hopefully you will feel happier and with good feelings.
EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
ENTER THE VIRTUAL LOBBY
If you have a VR headset, Google Cardboard or even through your internet browser, you can join and explore the lobby prototype space in a social VR setting. Follow the TOUR UI to learn how to navigate or read the Mozilla Hubs tutorial here.
You can use the WASD buttons to move and Q and E buttons to rotate your view. Press spacebar and click to share emoticons or find locations to teleport to.
If you are stressed or overwhelmed, leave reality for a moment. Step into the rabbit hole to play and connect with strangers or reconnect with friends so you, in turn, can leave the game feeling a bit better.
DIAGRAMS, ELEVATIONS, CONCEPT DRAWINGS, ETC.
WRITE YOUR FEELINGS: Users take a photo of their feelings written in their own handwriting to surround their bubble for other users to read when selecting a friend to talk to.
DISNEYLAND TOKYO: The concept was inspired by the queue design for the Pirates of the Carribean where guests can enjoy different stories, characters, and props for the world before they get on the ride itself.