buts_vr_experience_3

Butts finally make their debut in virtual reality

At Kill Screen, we take butt-talk pretty seriously. While others may look at a derrière and simply think to themselves “wow that’s hot” or “ew that’s gross,” we view the behind as a seat for discussing consent, gender politics, and power. Our ass coverage spans across such a wide breadth of passionate philosophizing; we have been called “the Tina Belchers of videogame commentary.”

Yet sometimes—in the name of love, friendship, farting, virtual reality, and all else that is holy—one must set aside philosophical underpinnings, to instead bask in the glory of a tooting posterior.

And with the recent public release of “BUTTS: The VR Experience,” that time has come. Because if you can’t take unadulterated joy in the image of a blue alien man bouncing boisterously on his gluteus maximus, then the child inside of you is dead. And if you don’t marvel at the fact that something like this can now, with the power of state-of-the-art technology, be turned into a virtual world that viewers can inhabit—then you have no business reading the contents of this website.

Originally a short film, “BUTTS” was ported to VR by creator Tyler Hurd (who’s last name, I must maturely point out, is just one letter away from “turd”) as a collaboration with his ex Double Fine colleagues Drew Skillman and Patrick Hackett. In a Road to VR article, Hurd says he “started with just the idea of someone cheering someone else up by pulling confetti from their ass and ran with it.”

But(t), “BUTTS: The VR Experience” is more than just a showcase for ass clownery. 

But(t), “BUTTS: The VR Experience” is more than just a showcase for ass clownery. It’s a masterpiece of the technology—and I say that without a hint of irony. Though it was robbed of the 2014 Proto Award it got nominated for (I guess butt-glitter really does merit a spot in the Most Innovative category,) “BUTTS: The VR Experience” served the technology in other ways.

As Vimeo staff member Jason Sondhi comments, “we’ll look back at this as the tipping point.” I for one had many revelations about the medium after watching both the short film and the VR experience side by side. Providing more than just the ability to view this adorable cartoon in 3D, the port to virtual reality transforms the viewer him/herself as a character in the space. In the 2D version, we watch an intimate butt-glittery exchange between two friends. In the virtual reality experience, that exchange is transformed into a performance for the viewer, as the two friends swirl and twirl in the sky using nothing but their own ass-fuel. While the 2D film lends itself to more heavy auteurism, VR requires the filmmaker to bring his audience into the folds of the story (the two glittery, butt-cheeky folds).

Though Hurd also admits in his interview that he was at first apprehensive about implementing the Rift, the experience has now made him understand the virtual reality hype. “I was inside a cartoon that I made!” he exclaims. “The reaction to ‘BUTTS: The VR Experience’ has been overwhelmingly positive. Granted, I’ve been showing it to people that have never experienced a Rift so I feel I’m taking some excitement credit from Oculus but it’s great to see people laughing, smiling, and just generally freaking out over it.”

But while humility might not allow him to see it, Hurd’s masterpiece will probably go down in history as the greatest way to pop the general population’s VR cherry. I mean, come on. There’s butt-glitter.

If nothing else, I guarantee “BUTTS: The VR Experience” will be the most lucrative self-induced prostate exam you watch all day.

You can download “BUTTS: The VR Experience” here or watch both versions of the film on its website.