Off the rails is a research project designed for the 2021 GOGBOT festival in Enschede, part of which investigated the blurred line between fake news, disinformation and misinformation. The research project focuses on explaining the difference between each type of false information, as the festival edition aired under the name of “Infocalypse now! – Recalibrate reality”.
Recalibrate in the Infocalypse!
The line between ‘Fake News’, ‘Propaganda’ and harmless ‘Misinformation’ is heavily blurred by mass media and users in social networks of today. Off the rails is an interactive installation that premiered at GOGBOT 2021 – a creative technology festival in Enschede, The Netherlands – clearing up this unclarity.
Showcasing an immersive fictional disaster followed up by fictional news-flash videos, Off the rails concentrates its effort to clarify those terms by having the user decide per video, which type of false information it represents. In a form of a social experiment, this data has been anonymously collected and presented afterward to the user.
Airing under the title ‘Recalibrate reality!’, Off the rails stimulates its users to be aware of what information source they will use in the future.
Design by research in Deep State 9
Over five months of in-depth research about false information, the presentation of it within virtual reality and the optimisation for a virtual reality application at a festival has been conducted. Resulting from countless testing sessions, Off the rails is a state-of-the-art application specifically designed for creative technology festivals such as GOGBOT.
Art & Presentation
Off the rails has been specifically designed to adapt to whether the player is sitting or standing. This offers both players and hosts endless versatility in setting themselves up.
For its premiere at GOGBOT, the installation was designed and set up with a minimalistic touch. Doing so, the aura of the room Off the rails was placed in spoke for all that the festival stands for upon entering. The VR-Set, controllers and chair were placed within the radius of a single spotlight – guiding visitors safeley to the installation, whilst retaining the set mood inside the room.