#603: Soundboxing: VR Exercise, Capturing Embodiment, & Virtual Economy Architecture

eric-florenzanoSoundboxing is a VR rhythm game that has found a community of people who use it for exercising in VR, with some people reporting that they’ve lost up to 50 pounds from playing it. Soundboxing is similar to Audioshield in that you punch orbs set to the rhythm of songs streamed from YouTube, but rather than using an algorithmic approach Soundboxing allows users to record their own runs, which means that all of the content is user generated. Soundboxing allows users to record and edit their own runs by playing a song and punching an invisible wall, and the scoring system encourages streaks, which results in helping to cultivate and track flow states.

I’ve really enjoyed playing Soundboxing, and it’s an engaging game that has a lot of options to allow you to follow creators, curate playlists, and customize your gaming experience. For example, you can record a run with you dominant hand, and then flip the recording so that you can train yourself to become more ambidextrous. The official Soundboxing website also has user profiles, with an impressive set of archive and search integrations compared to other VR game websites.

Soundboxing was created by solo indie developer Eric Florenzano, who was working on a VR browser for Reddit and discovered how compelling it was to record your embodiment in the process of trying to figure out what comments look like in VR.

Florenzano has thought a lot about the larger economic systems and architecture within the VR software ecosystem, and he shares a lot of ideas for how to cultivate and design systems that would allow people to make a living within VR. Florenzano’s Soundboxing relies upon user generate content, and he was surprised to find that about 50% of his users were creating and sharing content. He sees Soundboxing a 3D immersive web browser, and takes a lot of inspiration for how the Brave browser is attempting to create blockchain-based digital advertising with their Basic Attention Token.

This is a chat that I had with Florenzano back in May talking about how people are using Soundboxing for exercise and fitness as well a lot of deep thoughts about the future of virtual economies & paying arists, and how he’s thinking about what immersive fitness experiences will look across different immersive platforms and mediums.


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