Being alone can be a good thing, from time-to-time at least. Often the VR industry is so busy busying itself with noise, so intent on restoring our connection with the outside world. But it rarely stops to reflect on the solitude of wearing a headset that severs our connection to reality. Where Thoughts Go offers a quiet few moments of meditation on that idea, harnessing it to establish a sense of security unique to the platform.
First released on PC VR headsets in 2018 and now available on Oculus Quest, Where Thoughts Go from Lucas Rizzotto offers a strange kind of intimacy. It’s simply a series of existential questions you can answer at your leisure using your headset’s microphone. But, curiously, before you dive in with your own answer, you can pause to hear the thoughts of previous players, who have had their words recorded and shared. Yours will be too.
At first, this conjures a conflicting set of emotions and concerns. Why would I want to offer my private thoughts and memories up to the mechanical coldness of an Oculus Quest? Are you vulnerable to sharing guarded secrets on a much wider platform than you’re intending?
But Where Thoughts Go earns its intrusions with a lulling sense of community and peace. It’s easy to get lost in the minds of others, cherry-picking other submissions from each question and trying to put yourself in their shoes. Their own openness, in turn, spurs you on to share a little more about yourself, even as the questions become so slightly more personal. When, eventually you hear your comments played back to you, it gives pause for a rare moment of sobering contemplation.
Where Thoughts Go isn’t some marvel of a VR world or a biting bit of narrative, but it does have something to say on an overlooked aspect of this tech. If you can find a few minutes to set aside to yourself, you might find a welcome piece of inner-reflection here.