For many years, I have faced the isolation that digital entertainment often poses to participants. Fortunately, a recent experience changed my perspective dramatically. The moment I entered the doors of Two Bit Circus, I met a staff that was most kind and extremely positive and welcoming, which made me feel connected right away. Before I started exploring the facilities, I caught two key sounds that made me feel like this is the place where fun lives—laughter and the sound of human conversations made me believe this night was going to be great. I found a uniting, comfortable environment full of unique entertainment—entertainment designed for teams of people and/or requiring spectators’ participation, which was an important element for unity.
The Crazy Chaise, for instance, is a virtual reality game (from Two Bit Circus' partner) that requires a group of participants to play VR tag. The game is quite simple and collaborative as it makes you interact with people who share both physical and virtual space with you. A number of people race each other in a virtual space and collect bonuses that visually look like sparkling diamonds; everything appears to be in beautiful colors. But wait, it is not that easy! If all of a sudden, your vision has become black and white, then you have transformed into a tiger whose job is not to race but tag the other participants. This may prevent you from winning the race since it will slow you down and change your game. The game continues until one of the (human) participants reaches the finish line.
Another fun game that caught my attention was Emoji Charades (from Two Bit Circus' partner), which is a digital charade that uses emojis to create meaning projected on a screen for a number of people to guess. For instance, a symbol of a spider plus a symbol of a man would mean Spiderman. Of course, participants get to choose categories such as: characters of the movies, political figures, etc. Some of them may be quite tough to guess but that is what makes this game fun to play. Not only does it make participants use their imagination, it also creates a warm, uniting environment between all players. This game would be a great addition to any party, celebration, or family gathering.
Even though there are games made for one performer, they require group participation. For example, Pictionary VR allows one to draw images in a virtual environment. This is certainly great entertainment for the creative artists out there. Most artists, of course, would love an audience for feedback that would offer ideas, inspiration, and perhaps, some criticism. With this game, an artist may create an image, project it on a TV screen, and prompt the audience to guess what was drawn.
Participants playing Pictionary
For more action and greater challenge, a body movement game called Super Thunder Bloxx represents connecting horizontal and diagonal lines with elements that change colors. A participant must stand in front of the sensor camera that builds his or her image on the screen, and once the line starts to move and change shapes, a person should try his or her best to avoid the red elements. Every player has several trials. It may sound complicated but it is pretty simple once you get the knack. The game is challenging, and that helps pump the players with energy and excitement. However, it is certainly a question of who gets more exited—the player or cheering friends and family.
Two Bit Circus offers many other great creations for people to try during its famous art walks, where its Los Angeles-based facilities turn into an interactive exhibit of their most outstanding inventions that are both entertaining and educational. And it gets better. Two Bit Circus is planning to build a next-generation micro-amusement park, first in LA, where people are united through fun digital entertainment to include VR and mixed reality, social games, fire, lasers, robots, and more. With advances like these, it seems like a future of otherworldly amusement technologies is here. My Two Bit Circus experience made me see how easy it is to erase the border that often separates physical and digital entertainment. If you ever dream of experiencing a real-time digital wonderland, make sure to visit the Two Bit Circus exhibits … and don’t forget to participate.