Mother Bear Mother Hen, 2021
VR experience for HTC Vive
Mother Bear Mother Hen (MB_MH) is a VR game that invites a player to embody the character of a chicken or a bear by donning one of two jackets embedded with soft circuit sensors and LEDs. In the jacket costume of their choice and through the HTC Vive headset and controllers, a player moves through a story of antagonism and survival between a hen and a bear parent and their chicks and cubs. Developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the tenacity and endurance of parents was put to the test by financial constraints, health concerns, social isolation and school closures, this game examines caregiving during a challenging time. Visually, the two cel-shaded levels create a dream-like setting in which a player confronts abstracted difficulties and magnified fears that caregivers experience when outside dangers are present. MB_MH is one of two projects developed through an Epic MegaGrant that tie together the Unreal game engine with physical computing. For MB_MH, Bradbury stitched two user interface jackets that can be seen and heard by others viewing the installation. The game is designed so that it may be played with or without the jackets.
Duration: ~ 7 mins
Additional credits (Production Team):
Concept Development: Victoria Bradbury, Clara Tracey
3D Modeling and Rigging: Clara Tracey, Keithon Turner
Game Development: Thomas Townsend, Jeremy Brothers
Music Composition and Sound Design: David Freund
Web and Social Media: Kayla Hammonds, Keithon Turner
Voice Acting: Joshua Lassiter...Narrator, Xavier Hursty...Baby Bears
Physical Computing and Jacket Construction: Victoria Bradbury
Arduino - Unreal Integration: Nolan Scobie
Mother Bear Mother Hen is made possible by funds from the Epic MegaGrants program and UNC Asheville's Department of New Media.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Victoria Bradbury is an artist and researcher working with virtual reality, code and physical computing. She is a featured artist on the Radiance VR Blog and a recipient of an Epic MegaGrant. Her work has been shown at IEEE-GEM (curated by Nicholas O’Brien), xCoAx, Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center Re-Happening, Harvestworks, Revolve Gallery, Albright Knox and The New Britain Museum of American Art. She is co-editor of Art Hack Practice: Critical Intersections of Art, Innovation and the Maker Movement (Routledge, 2020) and co-taught The Glass Electric: Glassblowing, Electroforming, Interactive Electronics at Pilchuck Glass School, 2019. Victoria holds a PhD with CRUMB at the University of Sunderland, UK and an MFA from Alfred University. She has been a member of the New Media Caucus Board since 2012 and is Assistant Professor of New Media at UNC Asheville.
If you are interested in exhibiting or viewing this artistic VR experience, please send an email to us.