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Digital Foosball and Virtual Reality at DigiPlayspace (Flack’s Review)

Posted on | April 25, 2014 | Add Comments

Playing with light, water, and sponges at DigiplayspaceWhat is DigiPlayspace? Certainly not your typical museum exhibit. Walk inside and you’ll find a virtual reality headset, two-person videogames, and a greenscreen all fighting for your attention. Wow is the word that best describes the sight. Coinciding with TIFF Kids, I got to experience all the excitement at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The first display is a French installation titled Water Light Graffiti. Participants use wet sponges to turn on hundreds of LED lights and create a drawing. Water Light Graffiti pretty much defines what DigiPlayspace is all about: cutting-edge digital fun for all ages.

Of course, the fun doesn’t end there. Perhaps the exhibit’s most impressive achievement is the range of installations. One moment I was playing a two-person videogame, then I created digital paintings by waving my hands around and, eventually I wound up starring in a stop motion film.

Playing PaperDude VR with the Oculus Rift at Digiplayspace If there’s one thing you won’t find here it’s boredom. Still, three setups stand above the rest. First is PaperDude, a not-your-average-videogame videogame. After hopping onto a bike, I strapped on the much hyped Oculus Rift headset. In the game, you pedal your bike and move your hands around to toss newspapers to neighbors. The exciting part, however, is experiencing Oculus Rift’s virtual reality. As I frantically turned left, right, up, and down, all I could see was the world of PaperDude. The feeling is novel, fresh, and weird; unreal technology paradise.

Playing SuperPong at DigiplayspaceSimpler than PaperDude, yet just as fun, is SuperPong. Designed in Brazil, the game combines the look and rules of foosball with the digital simplicity of Pong. And the result? Like playing both those games at the same time on a big, bright screen.

Green-screen goofiness at DigiplayspaceThe third highlight of DigiPlayspace is a greenscreen set-up where participants are placed in blockbuster films and foreign locations. With the help of the latest Hollywood technology, I put on a green blanket, looked up at the screen, and saw myself as…Wolverine!?

3-D printed toys at DigiplayspacePast the main space is a back room that turns out to be a “Micro Maker fair” filled with programmable videogames, 3-D printed toys, and robotic balls controlled by iPods.

Of course, you can’t love all of DigiPlayspace’s activities but, hey, there’s something for everyone. Filled with interactive digital awesomeness of every kind, this is pure, unbridled fun for kids and adults. So what is Digiplayspace? Imagine playing with the future and you’re close to understanding.

DigiplayspaceDigiPlayspace ran March 8-April 21 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, Canada. It’ll be back for it’s fourth year in 2015.

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