SXSW 2023: All VR Experiences and VR Films at a Glance
This year's South by Southwest will once again feature numerous VR and AR experiences. We've compiled a list for you.
The South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) takes place March 10-19, 2023 in Austin, Texas, and features numerous arts festivals, conferences, and trade shows. This year there will be three categories for the XR industry.
The XR Experience Competition will showcase world premieres in immersive film, VR and AR experiences. Well-known and award-winning immersive projects will be showcased in the XR Experience Spotlight. Visitors can also experience all of the XR projects for themselves at the XR Experience Exhibition, March 12-14.
You can also use your own VR headset to experience the XR Worlds at SXSW from the comfort of your own home. Online guests can enjoy exclusive VR experiences that can be visited through the social VR app VRChat.
SXSW 2023 XR exhibition
With "Temporal World", Berlin-based artists Chloé Lee and Lucas Martinic have created a haptic VR experience in which they reflect on the meaning of places with which they have varying degrees of connection - from the personal to the familiar to the foreign. Wearing a haptic jacket, visitors move through the space and help shape the virtual landscape.
NowHere Media is also located in Berlin. The award-winning studio develops VR and AR experiences that critically engage with current issues. Specializing in human rights, conflict, social justice, and the environment, NowHere Media's VR films include images from the Syrian war, snow leopards in the Himalayas, and visions of a future Berlin.
Join SXSW 2023 in VRChat from home
If you can't make it to Austin, Texas, you can visit the SXSW XR Experience World via PC and VRChat using PC VR or Meta Quest VR headsets.
The environment was created in partnership with XR event studio VRrOOm, which hosted Pico-4-exclusive VR parties with big-name live DJs in early January. Another edition is now making its way to SXSW.
The following events are planned in the SXSW VRchat world:
- VRROOM Alpha Party: immersive live concert featuring DJs and musicians WEB7, Le Juiice, and Maxence.
- Metaverse Music Concert: Interactive volumetric music concert in a special virtual space inspired by the famous 6th Street in Austin, TX. Artists: inside: YOOM and Active Theory.
- Neo-Wulin: The Era of the Black Ark: A virtual performance series by the Chinese OXYZ3 team. Each musician presents a unique musical world that combines performance, exhibition, and social interaction that can be constantly expanded.
SXSW 2023: VR Films and Experiences from the XR Experience Competition
SXSW will once again feature some world premieres of immersive work. A total of 15 XR experiences will compete in the XR Experience Competition, which you can check out below.
- Aespa VR Concert at Kwangya: Immersive concert by virtual girl band "Aespa" from South Korea.
- Body of Mine VR: VR experience that, in combination with real interviews of transgender people, lets you experience your own body from a different perspective.
- Consensus Gentium: Interactive film that explores facial recognition, artificial intelligence and the effects of uncontrolled surveillance.
- The District VR: German VR experience that immerses you in a digital twin of Berlin's club scene. You become a DJ and make the virtual party-goers dance to your own beats.
- El Beat: A VR experience that lets you experience a journey of enslaved African men during the colonial era from the coast of Senegal to the Palenque area.
- Find WiiLii - Ep.1 The Gate-Crasher: In an alternate reality, humanity uses a teleportation system where there is a five percent chance that travelers will lose their memory. As part of a service team, you set out to find lost memories.
- Forager: immersive multi-sensory experience: the developers take you through the entire life cycle of mushrooms in VR. Through sight, touch and smell, you'll experience the progression from spores, mycelium, fruiting body to decay.
- Fresh Memories: The Look: This VR short film shows you the extent of the war in Ukraine through the eyes of those affected. You'll be guided through the bombed homes, schools, hospitals, and streets of Kharkiv.
- The Invited: reimagining the Dracula story in augmented reality. An animated pop-up book shows you Dracula's entrance into the modern world, which fills with new AR holograms with each turn of the page.
- Jailbirds - The Eye of the Artist: The interactive story concludes the Jailbird trilogy about the peaceful giant Felix, ending the story where two different concepts of justice collide.
- JFK Momento: An immersive documentary about the assassination of U.S. President Kennedy. You'll experience the investigation surrounding the assassination, see original archival photos and films remastered in 3D, and hear interviews from the last living eyewitnesses.
- Once a Glacier: In the Inupiaq tradition, glaciers are carriers of memories from the past, which they convey in song. This VR film shows you a girl's life journey that parallels the end of the glacier's ice, making the consequences of climate change tangible.
- Rockets, by Pillow: In this VR experience, you control a brave little rocket named Crimson that brings dead planets back to life. After a terrible event, Crimson must face numerous puzzles, a terrifying monster, and his own identity.
- Stay Alive, My Son (Chapters 1 & 2): You'll experience the journey of Yathay, an old man who had to leave his son behind while fleeing the genocide in Cambodia. Along the way, you'll delve into locked memories and accompany Yathay as he tries to reunite with his son.
- Whipped Cream "The Dark": The Dark combines electro sounds and opera music to tell the emotional story about a toxic relationship.
For a complete list of SXSW XR Exhibition exhibitors, visit the festival's website.