What makes Departure stand out isn’t just its involved storyline, but its surprisingly slick special effects. She’s been collaborating with a visual effects house in the United Kingdom on “making Departure an even bigger project,” and also working on getting the series into virtual reality. While there’s been no official release, at least one eager fan has already found a way to view the two-dimensional video through a VR player.Maque has other virtual reality ASMR experiences in the works as well, including one designed specifically for VR devices. She and Dekotora have co-founded a media network called PixelWhipt, where they plan to create more VR content that combines the intimate sensory experience of ASMR with the immersion of headsets like the Oculus Rift.
Design fictions draw on a long tradition of technological storytelling. Every technology starts with a story. We don’t know how the first hominids who fashioned a hand-axe from a flint shaped their thoughts, but the very action of flint-knapping implies a plan for the future: the result will be better, in some way, than the flints already to hand. So it is with all technologies. ‘A tool always implies at least one small story,’ writes the historian of technology David Nye in Technology Matters (2006). It begins in the imagination, and that imagining extends to what the tools will help us to achieve.
Elves, magic, dragons, shapeshifting and ancient powers of world destruction are somehow totally believable, but the idea that brown people might exist is somehow not. My colleague Zevran Arainai, the Antivan assassin who you encounter after he’s been hired to kill you. There’s also Isabela, the Rivaini pirate who can teach you the Duelist specialization. There’s Duncan, who initially recruits you to the Wardens, whose heritage is mixed with Rivaini. We also can’t forget about the Qunari warrior Sten, who you can encounter in Lothering and rescue, or leave for the Darkspawn to kill.
Videogames aren’t just buckets filled up with a certain amount of content. You don’t just walk into the Content Bucket shop and buy the bucket that is most filled up with content. But dramas like this imply that that is what videogames are. Next time you’re playing a game and you’re wondering why it has this arbitrary vehicle section or that terrible sewer level, remember that this is why. Because if they didn’t put that boring crap in, the press and the community forums would rip them to shreds for not filling the Content Bucket all the way up.