The promise of a game world you can touch

January 23, 2019
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I’m led into a room containing a bank of computers. I’m ushered, cheerfully enough, to the first station. There’s a mouse, a keyboard, and something keyboardesque, but square, and without symbols on each of its black keys. On the monitor is a basic, 90’s-looking floating-bubble screensaver. I’m not sure this is what I expected. I’m instructed to put my hand in the air in front of me.

As the bubbles on-screen begin to pop, I simultaneously feel the bubbles popping on my skin. My bare skin; I’m not wearing gloves or any other equipment. More precisely, I feel each individual bubble roll against my skin, pause there delicately, wobble, then vanish. It’s not like a random puff of air. This isn’t Pirates 4D. I hold my hand out, chuckling like… well, like a child first experiencing bubbles. It’s great.

Time’s up and a swift lateral bum-shift into the next chair and the next station. There are more little miracles to be found. “Am I meant to feel nervous?” I ask, “because I am, a little bit.”

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