Meow Wolf Premieres VR Experience “The Atrium” at SXSW

Meow Wolf is still elated with the success of SXSW 2018. The five-day annual festival which took over the city of Austin, TX was rife with music, art, and immersive experiences.

Of course we had a few things up our sleeves to bring to the fun! Stepping into the realm of VR with our latest experience, The Atrium, was foremost among them.

The Atrium
The Atrium (Photo Meow Wolf)

The Atrium, Meow Wolf’s VR Experience

One of our biggest premieres for SXSW was our virtual reality experience The Atrium. A project built as a continuation of the story behind our House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The experience from start to finish took eight months to develop. It helped launch us into the same category as companies like HBO and Sony as we were bestowed the Spirit Award by SXSW, which celebrates creativity and innovation.

“We had a whole different approach to this piece,” Brian Solomon, one of the lead VR creators said of The Atrium. “With VR, the most important thing you can do is put people into a perspective that they would never be able to experience otherwise. We did just that.”

The Atrium saw a few hundred people. Attendance for the experience filled up quickly as sign ups opened each day. Three tons of steel were brought in to build the structure which was built around a haptic surface that made everything feel more realistic. This setup really paid off in cool ways for the viewers who were able to use a full room and their whole bodies to drive the experience even further.

“I really wanted to turn it into something that was lighthearted and comedic compared to the other storylines in the House of Eternal Return,” Brian noted, “and to create a story that is complex and digital and improvisational at the same time. We achieved that and it was super crazy and weird!”

For those who were unable to experience The Atrium at SXSW there are plans in the works for a pop-up that will allow others to travel into Meow Wolf’s new VR world.

A virtual cinema attendee exploring the haptic platform
Photo Credit: kate russell

Meow Wolf partners with MagicLeap

In addition to the crazy experience with VR at SXSW, Meow Wolf also announced a partnership with MagicLeap. Together Meow Wolf and MagicLeap will move forward into the future of immersive exhibitions and content creation. This is a huge and very exciting step for us at Meow Wolf that enhances our world building capabilities.

MagicLeap has gained a lot of media attention since the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco a few weeks ago! We can’t encourage you enough to check out some of the crazy things they have been developing.

Everything you can learn to do in VR makes approaching something like MagicLeap all the more exciting because you’re already thinking in the right mindset and it’s going to be an incredible partnership.

Want to learn more!? MagicLeap’s website is now open to creators, and the possibilities are as endless as the multiverse itself.

Additional Reading