nDreams' app lets you take a minute to slow down, collect your thoughts, and take time for yourself.
By Job J. Stauffer, Greenlit Content
Usually when looking for content reviews in virtual reality—be it for video games, stories, or experiences—we’re often seeking an answer to the million-dollar question, “Is this thing worth my time?”
Time is a precious resource here on this rock, and it’s not often that a piece of content itself wants to turn the question around and remind you of a much more important fact: “You are worth your time.”
After a stressful and busy week, I was tense in my left shoulder blade and was feeling like I needed to get away somewhere quiet; maybe for a yoga session or a massage. I spend a lot of time in VR performing cardio across several different high-intensity games, and when I’m finished, I usually take some time to head outside for some fresh air and a nice walk.
It was too cold and rainy to head out on the same evening that I realized I’d yet to boot up nDreams’ virtual relaxation destination, Perfect, to see if it could even possibly live up to its name.
I loaded up the application and was welcomed by a calm and quiet voice, letting me know that this was simply a virtual space to sit down and relax. Of the three gorgeously rendered locations to choose from (Tropical Beach, Northern Lights, and Mountain Wilderness) I set my sights on the latter.
I stood on a wooden deck in the middle of a forest peak where I could see water down below and a snowy ridge high above. I poked around by the water and saw some rocks and some sticks which my gamer brain initially searched high and low by instinct, desperately looking for the “thing” I was “supposed to do.”
I spotted the radio at my feet and noticed there was one stationed at each of the three locations within each destination, all of which are available for viewing in daytime lighting or at night. I chose night-time, teleported to the top of the mountain, and listened as the wind swirled around me and the campfire crackled at my feet, pouring embers out into the vast space between my camp and the mountain across the valley.
I turned on the radio, listening to the first of its nine different relaxing and hypnotic tracks. I set my controllers down on the floor and didn’t touch them again. I then sat myself down on the floor and stared at the full moon as a hot air balloon drifted across the night sky at pace I hadn’t slowed my mind down to in months.
I stretched my arms into the air and laid flat on the ground atop my yoga mat, feeling the tension begin to melt away. It was an entirely different experience compared to the hours I’d just spent surviving hell on Mars and stopping at nothing to kill everything in my sights in DOOM VFR. I was in a quiet place, free of distraction, and completely alone with my thoughts for once.
I thought about how many people might open this application expecting so much more to the game than just a place to sit around and enjoy the atmosphere. I thought about how important it is for people to understand that their wellness, not just their fitness, is essential to their health, and how important it is for people to stop and take time for themselves.
I thought about all of these things and nothing at the same time. I cleared my mind. I cleared my list of things to do and threw away my list of “bad things” to shoot and kill in my video games. I cleared my body of tension. I cleared my anxiety and I sat there peacefully on the floor for an hour watching meteors paint their way across the sky and listening to wolves howling in the distance.
It was peaceful. It was relaxing. It was a glimpse of what virtual reality has to offer us and a reminder that we are more important than unlocking achievements and topping leaderboards 24-7. Sometimes we need to take a minute to slow down, collect our thoughts, and take time for ourselves. It was beautiful. It was profound. I nearly fell asleep in a blissful state of calm and relaxation. I eased my mind and eased my body. I didn’t want to leave. It was Perfect.