The Thing Growing

January 1st, 1998 - March 1st, 2000

Categories: MFA Thesis, VR Art

Users in the Underworld, with “The Thing”
Users in the Underworld, with “The Thing”


The Thing Growing is a Virtual Reality Interactive Narrative. It’s focus is the construction of the “Thing”, a virtual character. The goal of the project is to create an interactive story in which the user is the main protagonist and engages at an emotional level with the Thing and its world. The project is structured in three acts in order to take advantage of narrative tools like pacing, surprise and movement through time. Each act also engages the user in interactivity.

The user has between two and four trackers attached to head, arms and body, and holds a 3D mouse with three buttons and a joystick for interaction and navigation. Information from the trackers, joystick and buttons is used by the application to figure out where the user is and what they are doing.

This application is programmed using the CAVE Library™, Performer and XP. XP is a VR authoring system based on Performer designed by Dave Pape.

“The Thing Growing” has been shown in a CAVE™, on an ImmersaDesk™, on a Barco Baron and on Panoram Display system - the last two with added tracking. It has been experienced at the following shows / exhibits:

  • The Thing Growing - March 00 - multiple CAVE™ & IDesk™ presentation
  • immedia 2000 - Feb 00 - CAVE™ presentation
  • Ars Electronica Festival - Sept 99 - CAVE™ presentation
  • SIGGRAPH 99 - Aug 99 - presentation on Panoram
  • UIMA Show - May 99 - IDesk™ presentation
  • Mediartech - May 99 - presentation on Barco’s Baron
  • The Walker Art Museum - April 99 - IDesk™ presentation
  • Digital Salon - Nov 98 - video presentation
  • Ars Electronica Festival - Sept 98 - CAVE™ presentation
  • SIGGRAPH 98 - Aug 98 - IDesk™ presentation