Jeremy Bailey – Preterna (AR Pregnancy)
One of the projects I found really interesting at the VR salon during Weird Reality was Jeremy Bailey’s pregnancy simulator, Preterna. When I put the VR headset on, I was transported to a calm plain of grasses and wildflowers. As I looked down, I saw the body of a pregnant woman. I thought the premise and execution of this project was really smart. By placing the mesh of a pregnant woman at a certain place and having us stand at that same place, it really did feel natural to look down and see a body that could be ours. I appreciated how we could see funky versions of our arms and hands without having to hold a remote or controller. It made the feeling of holding my hands to my “pregnant belly” more real. Although I couldn’t actually feel the belly, I did get an odd sense of happiness and contentment, probably because of general associations with motherhood and happiness, and also because of the calm environment. Everyone has wished to step into a body of someone of the opposite gender, and I think this is a great way for men to see at least a little bit what it’s like being pregnant. I thought it was very smart and thought provoking.