The “Virtual Journey through Time,” which will be located in the exhibition area Time and Space at the Deutsches Museum Nürnberg in the future, has passed an initial test phase with flying colors. Museum employees tried out the virtual and fully interactive scavenger hunt under expert guidance – and are thrilled.

No, details are not revealed yet! Only this much: the junk of the future is the key to success in the “Virtual Time Travel”, which the Future Museum will host in the future on the third floor in the exhibition area Time and Space. “What’s special about our VR time travel is that four players are in a virtual space together – and are both fully mobile and able to interact with each other,” says lead developer Jonas Zimmer from Cologne Game Lab. Together with Fee Bonny, who scripted the adventure, and his team from TH Köln, the programmer with a master’s degree in media studies is working on an entertaining VR concept on behalf of the Deutsches Museum, in which participants must cooperate to complete their mission.

Picture: Deutsches Museum

“Technically, the VR time travel is made possible by the latest generation of Oculus VR goggles, which can use cameras to determine a location within a room themselves at any time,” Zimmer explains. Unlike conventional systems, this allows the players to move freely in the virtual space. This makes the Nuremberg VR Arena a unique publicly accessible experimental field. “Of course, it’s important that the calibration is correct – otherwise the players will run into each other in the game or collide with the wall,” says Zimmer.

But this was not the case during the test run at the Deutsches Museum in Nuremberg: the interaction between the players and with the virtual environment worked surprisingly well. Gundolf Freyermuth, director of the Cologne Game Lab, is also pleased about this: “We are happy that we were able to create an experience with this interdisciplinary team that has never been seen before in a museum. In addition, the exhibit not only offers an exciting glimpse into a possible future, but also serves as a research field to investigate virtual embodiment and presence as well as shared-space cooperation in mixed realities.” The Virtual Time Travel offers a glimpse into Nuremberg in 2050 – the “Museum of the Future” is now called the “Museum of the Present,” drones animate the city, and numerous further developments of the DMN exhibits shape everyday life. “Virtual reality is an exciting technology with a lot of potential for future applications,” says exhibition organizer Andreas Gundelwein. “With a game that pushes the limits of what is technologically possible today, visitors should be able to venture a glimpse into this fascinating world of technology – and, of course, into the coming future of Nuremberg.”

That’s why the curatorial team deliberately opted for virtual journey to the flea market. Marion Grether, the director of the Future Museum, is particularly taken with the interactive potential of the journey through time: “You get an inkling of the direction in which this technology will influence entertainment media, but also future communication technology in general. To be able to be part of this pioneering work makes the whole museum team proud.”

Header: Marion Grether (2nd from left) tests the VR goggles before entering the game arena. Photo: Deutsches Museum