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Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

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Google’s Daydream View includes a Harry Potter VR experience for us Muggles

harry potter vr
Google’s Daydream View includes a Harry Potter VR experience for us Muggles

When I was a kid, I readily awaited my Hogwarts acceptance letter. I wasn’t a witch, of course. I was merely a Muggle like the rest of the real world. Yet lil’ ol’ me held onto some hope. Maybe, just maybe, a kind giant would come to my rescue, whisking me away to a magical world unlike my own, to happily sip butterbeers and cast Crucio on my enemies. I’m totally a Slytherin by the way.

Anyways, being Muggles, we don’t get to experience first-hand the wonders of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. Google’s recently announced Daydream View wants to change that, by ushering in a VR experience themed after the upcoming film set within the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Wave your wand around, making things around come to life

The Daydream View is a compact VR device. It seems like Google’s answer to the Samsung Gear VR, being a portable VR device that you just plop your phone into and you’re good to go. Yet the Daydream View actually has a controller. Sure, a simple stick-like controller more akin to the Nintendo Wiimote than a Sony Dualshock 4, but still a tangible device to hold in your hand as you play nonetheless. It’s with this mini, barely-buttoned controller that this new Harry Potter experience comes to life.

This isn’t the first interactive magic simulator to come from the camp of J.K. Rowling. That first-time honor went to the Playstation 3 title Wonderbook: Book of Spells, usable with thAT system’s Wiimote-wannabe Move controllers. The new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them experience, shown in a brief teaser, casts the player as a witch or wizard. Waving their wands around makes things around them come to life.

The Daydream View is shockingly maybe the coziest VR platform. Just look at that soft fabric. Fuck plastic.
The Daydream View is shockingly maybe the coziest VR platform. Just look at that soft fabric. Fuck plastic.

Since it’s merely an “experience,” don’t expect any hardcore magical duels. Nevertheless, it’s a welcome tie-in to our collective upcoming nostalgia pilgrimage/Harry Potter franchise extension. Even if the movie looks kinda iffy, it probably won’t be as bad as the recent play-sequel, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I’d like to scrub that from memory, my past as a devout Potterhead—founder of my high school’s Harry Potter club!—be damned.

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them VR experience will launch alongside the Daydream View in November for $79.

Versions is brought to you by Nod Labs,
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