An Addiction Simulator

An immersive interactive 360-degree experience

— Overview —

Addiction comes in many different forms: drug, alcohol, food, gambling, etc. Common among people with addictions are a sense of lack of control and cravings. I wanted to see if it was possible to recreate these feelings within an immersive and interactive 360-degree video.

The interactive portion of the project was built in Unity and runs on a mobile device with a google cardboard.

Diagram illustrating interaction with 360-video

— Concept Sketches —

For my initial ideas, I wanted to find interesting ways to interact with 360-degree videos. An addiction simulation idea was my most fully realized idea. It included an interesting interaction as well a meaningful concept. I filmed a 360 video that depicted a typical day in first person view, from morning to night.

As the user goes about their day, a substance appears and freezes the video. The user must consume the substance to continue with their day. Each time a substance is consumed, the user is taken to a euphoric state. The substance is an abstract “blob” to represent various types of additions. Substance appearances increase exponentially to show a lack of control until the user will not be able to continue with their day. The euphoric states decrease with each consumption.

Final idea sketch

— Prototype —

I constructed a glove with a button in the palm made from a force sensitive resistor encased in foam. The user uses this to “grab” the substances when they appear. I put a mini vibration motor that vibrates after the user consumes one of the substances. This represents the body’s need for the substance. The glove is connected to an Arduino that communicates with a unity project on a laptop through Networkit.

The equipment
The glove used to interact with the 360-degree video environment

— Main Takeaways —

I was not able to fully realize the emotions and feelings that a person suffering from an addiction would experience. Addiction is complicated and reducing it a few characteristics is not the ideal way to represent it. With further research and implementation, it could be possible to achieve a realistic and immersive depiction of addiction using this as a starting point.

— Links —

Executable and Source

— References —

Secondary 360-degree video

Song in video taken from this Youtube video

All sounds were from bell1, bell2