BARS: A Multiplayer Sensorial Experience - COVO collective

Presented during the IRCAM Forum Workshops 2023 in Paris.

By COVO collective

As society became more attached to virtualisation, the need for digital spaces to socialise and entertain arose. While the visual aspect of those spaces keeps evolving, the audio experience falls behind. 
To solve this issue we created a multiplayer online club that users can explore with their avatars, interacting with each other, and artists can perform a Dj-set enhanced by a 5.1 surround setup dedicated to spatial ambient noise and effects. Additionally, the user can balance the two audio streams to better suit his preferences.
While this configuration makes the experience more immersive, it’s far from what technology can achieve. A true virtual world makes it possible to hear and see beyond the boundaries of our reality and have an experience that’s both personal and collective.
That’s why the club is a cage of an eco-futuristic extraterrestrial menagerie with neoncore decorations and the user can engage in brief single-player optional experiences called “Dreams”, where they have to complete a path by moving in four dimensions. There are different types of Dreams, each user gets assigned one and a corresponding stem gets added to the current artist’s performance. This stem is spatially modulated according to its position in the fourth dimension.
In essence, our project creates a multiplayer sensorial experience focused on new ways to enjoy musical performances and social space, while fully taking advantage of the potential of a non-physical world and making by interactive and immersive.