Experiencing Coco VR after watching the movie was just a huge hug to my soul, in multiple ways. Before I jump into my review I must admit that I'm biased because I was raised in a South American country so any environment that is very colorful, has music and is full of people warms my heart instantly. If I have to describe Coco VR in a few words I would say that it's an experience that has the potential of bringing a lot of healing.
My mission with VR experiences is to find the health aspect/benefit of it and slowly start introducing it into our lives. Many people still feel that VR is only for gaming experiences. While that might have a true element at the moment, the more we use VR the better we can start molding it to our daily needs such as education, wellness, and community.
About Coco VR
Coco VR is Pixar's stunning debut into virtual reality: an adventure into the beautiful Disney-Pixar film, Coco. You can choose either a single or multi-player experience, and follow the magical alebrije into the luminous world of Coco filled with lovable characters and beautiful settings from the film.
You get to explore the locations featured in the movie.
Multi-player enables you to include your friends.
Very immersive experience with high-quality graphics.
You can create your own costume and goof around in the photo booth.
The Gondola tour is breathtaking, you will fall in love with the sight.
Go on stage and be whoever you want to be, the show is yours.
It's free but it only works if you have an Oculus Rift.
How can this experience bring healing?
There are two main reasons why I see this experience as one that can actually help people to live a better life. But before I expand on this a little bit further I want to say that as a health coach, I believe that we are holistic beings and there's not only one thing that will make us healthy, it's about balance and harmony.
So, the first reason why I see Coco VR as a healing tool is that it has the potential of building community. Right now it has the multiplayer access where you can invite friends over, but if this feature were to expand into a social VR platform like VR chat, people would be able to build community. We are living in exciting times where the gap between the real world and the virtual world is getting closer. For some of you, this might be scary, for others, it might be exactly what you were looking for. Being raised in different countries with different cultures made me always try to incorporate the best of both worlds. And I believe that's the best way to approach all technologies.
Why is building community so important to us?
Rich C. Zamor, Executive Director, Professional Services Division Latin American Health Institute, Boston, Massachusetts explains:
As human beings, we need a sense of belonging, and that sense of belonging is what connects us to the many relationships we develop. Communities are also rich in resources, that is where their collective aspect comes into play. We are all members of many communities (family, work, neighborhood, etc.), and we constantly move in and out of them, depending on the situation. Community is where we find comfort in difficult times. When things are not going well in one community, we have the option to move to another. For me, the community is where one finds the balance between physical and mental fitness.
The other reason and maybe not a very known healing tool or it might even cross the hippie-dippie line for some is color therapy.
Coco VR is a colorful experience even though it happens in the world of the dead. Being surrounded by colors can help put our minds at ease, increase the feeling of wellbeing and experience a sense of joy throughout the experience.
According to Art Therapy, Color therapy and healing (also known as chromotherapy or light therapy) is a type of holistic healing that uses the visible spectrum of light and color to affect a person's mood and physical or mental health. Each color falls into a specific frequency and vibration, which many believe contribute to specific properties that can be used to affect the energy and frequencies within our bodies.
Some VR experiences such as Lumen, are already working with Color therapy and the science behind color to create relaxing environments in hopes to help the user to de-stress in VR.
Framestore worked with Walter Greenleaf PhD of Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab to learn about the science behind color hoping to find some concrete conclusions. But instead, he opened our minds to the fact that it's not just as simple as popping up a color and expecting the user to calm down. Reality is much more nuanced than that of course. There are considerations that influence how people perceive color, like cultural backgrounds for example that will taint their perception.- Framestore
Overall Coco VR is a great experience where fun and wonder have a seat at the table. There is room for growth and I really hope that the opportunity is seized. Building community in VR can be a huge asset for us, it's true that VR tech inherently isolates people but that doesn't mean that it doesn't also have the ability to bring us together in an entirely different way. I am convinced that the use of VR has many health benefits and Coco VR is one of many experiences that will help us improve our lifestyle.