Two friends build a makeshift scanner to digitize people. To their surprise, it works and now YOU are trapped inside a computer, trying to work out how to escape.
Downloaded is a very modern parable, addressing the role that technology plays in our lives. After all, are we not already—to one degree or another—trapped in our computers? Alas, our social media “feed” doesn’t nourish us and nor does instant access to all human knowledge make us more informed. To escape our digital prison cells we need to rebuild real-world, human connections.
A Narrative-Led, Interactive VR Experience
The classic Sci-Fi film TRON shares with the recent Netflix series Altered Carbon, the notion of digitizing a human mind such that the illusion of consciousness can be simulated by an algorithm. Downloaded is a light-hearted interactive narrative that relies on the same premise. The viewer finds themselves disembodied and trapped inside a computer, looking out through the screen, while their accomplice, Lisa, works frantically from the outside to try and free them. But the participant holds the keys to their own escape. The experience is responsive to different levels of engagement, allowing (but not necessarily requiring) the viewer to actively participate in solving the puzzles necessary to restore them to their body.
The execution uses a hybrid of cinematic live action footage and 3D laser scanning, with artfully stylized real-time game engine graphics, in a headset-based, room-scale VR experience that lasts between 5-8 minutes, depending on user interactions. We’re using a novel approach to combining the live action and CG imagery, to create a convincing and spatially authentic illusion of being trapped inside a computer.