Toilet Paper Mania – Immersive VR Museum

Presentation

Three words to describe this piece: reflections, behaviors, and pandemic 

Concept

What can we learn from our inner-self by reliving the panic/pandemic? 

Project summary:

A virtual experience that invites people to relive, rethink, and reflect their responses/ their change of behaviors towards the toilet paper mania during COVID-19. 

Detailed description of the project:

This project creates a virtual experience that invites people to relive, rethink, and reflect their responses/ their change of behaviors towards the toilet paper mania during COVID-19. It is constructed as a museum experience with curated items such as footages, quotes, and sculptures about toilet paper. Viewers enter into a toilet paper roll and tour around the content as the water level rises up, which then eventually floods away all information before they can fully process it. This is to mimic how what we experienced forced us into a panic buying situation during the COVID-19. When there is a threat to our survival, panic and fear set in, impeding our rational decision-making.Through this interaction, I would love for people to reflect on the subtle changes in their mental states and behaviors during COVID-19. 

Curated content:

The footages are about panic buying, fighting over toilet paper, and using toilet paper as currency. The flowing hashtags such as “toiletpapermania”, ”toiletpaper”, “lifelesson”, and more are extracted from twitter.

The “I am in control” is the general tone of experts who tried to analyze and explain the panic buying situation of toilet paper.

They need to do something practical to make it feel like they are in control.

Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, a consumer psychologist at Anglia Ruskin University.

Toilet paper doesn’t really matter – it’s just so far down the survival list compared to other things like food or water – but it’s just something people cling to as a minimum standard.

Dr Rohan Miller from the University of Sydney.

Background

The COVID-19 hit us in the most unexpected way. We were forced to stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus. We were forced to go into survival mode as more and more disinfectants, food becoming out of stock. We were forced to see our loved ones suffering, and dying from the virus. It has created unfathomable burden on all of us, financially, emotionally, and physically. The burden is too heavy that people start to panic buying toilet paper. I wanted to understand the toilet paper mania first and then create something that is meaningful.

So in order to understand on the toilet paper mania, I did research on social media platforms and read many papers, articles. The toilet paper mania is one small part caused by the pandemic, yet it shows how this pandemic affected our psychological state and cause us to do things so irrational.

The possible explanations for toilet-paper hoarding are myriad. Unlike hand sanitizer and test kits, toilet paper is not a commodity subject to increased need in the current crisis.

The New Yorker

A meaningful exploration of video sculpture:

This project mixes up the mediums and realities together to create an immersive learning experience. The interaction in the virtual space has so many possibilities for poetic explorations. 

Process

Research

Link here. Will post a polished version soon.

Prototype in Blender

  1. 3D Modeling
  2. UV Mapping

Unity work

  1. First person/Camera player
  2. Lighting – Baked and Realtime
  3. Dissolve effect of videos
  4. Distance trigger the video to play with audio on
  5. Water level rising up
  6. Water level decreasing – flushing the toilet
  7. Audio Manager Bundle to control sounds

First person/Camera Player + Water Assets

  1. I downloaded the basic asset packet from asset store
  2. imported it
  3. and changed two script files into this from this link

Next Step

  1. Edit based on feedbacks
  2. Convert it into webGL
  3. Create an official website of this

This project will be shown on May 17th from 2-4 pm for The Virtual Show Spring 2020. Come to the zoom link.

inclass feedbacks

  1. fix the video wrapping issue
  2. work on the lighting
  3. use shadergraph to work on the dissolve issue
  4. download as an app and share or convert to webgl (water shader maybe affected; if so, could create the diminishing of the cylinder -“running out of the toilet paper”)
  5. develop to other objects
    1. newsroom
    2. kitchen utensils
    3. traffic roads – inception movie

Published by Yiting Liu

NYU ITP '21

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