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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Ain’t nothin’ in this wild, wild west, except for dinosaurs

Ain’t nothin’ in this wild, wild west, except for dinosaurs

When I think of the wild west, I recall visiting Arizona for one brief time. The unrelenting heat, the neverending desert, the towering red rocks of Sedona. In seeing the cel-shaded scenery of Dino Frontier, I’m taken back. Here we are in the wild frontier. Moonshine probably a-flowin’. Tumbleweeds blowin’. Acoustic guitars playing in the distance. Snakes in my boot. A velociraptor viciously gnawing away at my town’s inhabitants.

That’s essentially the premise for Uber Entertainment’s game Dino Frontier for the Playstation VR. Dino Frontier is a management simulator with western sensibilities, coupled alongside deadlyor beneficialdinosaurs thrown in for kicks. The upcoming 2017 title was revealed at this past weekend’s Playstation Experience in Anaheim, California, an annual conference from Sony that displays an assortment of new and then-unannounced games.

Dinosaurs can be trained, and, yes, even be your friend

You’re the mayor of the town in Dino Frontier, managing the resources for your people, and ensuring that no settler goes unfed, too sleepy, or injured. Your town is semi-self-sufficient, like The Sims or another simulation game. They may do as their AI directs them to, or as their intro Playstation Blog post writes, “maybe they’ll just stop by the saloon to have a drink and cheer up.” Things change when you, the mayor, intervene and make sure everything in your control is going according to plan.

Dinosaurs in the game are initially enemies. Fearsome beasts that may injure or kill your western town’s inhabitants. But through practice, dinos can be domesticated as an ally. Or a pet, whichever name you’d prefer to bestow.

Videogames themselves are short on westerns and dinosaurs, even as we live in a world where they dominate our box offices and television screens. Maybe a combination of the two is needed, even from within a quaint little PSVR title. In games, there’s the great open world western Red Dead Redemption; there’s the dino-murdering Dino Crisis, and even the recent Robinson: The Journey, a jurassic exploration title for VR. But really, there’s not much else in either theme to fill the world of games and VR.

No horses 'round these here parts.
No horses ’round these here parts.

Uber Entertainment’s most recent game was Wayward Sky, one of the launch titles for Playstation VR. The platforming game was a rare non-first-person game—first-person being a trend among VR titles—and followed a young girl as she tried to rescue her father. It’s surprising to see the development team to announce a follow-up so soon. Wayward Sky shines as an example that not every VR game or application has to be in first-person, little interactive dioramas or platformers, plus whatever else you set your mind to, can work too.

You can stay tuned to Uber Entertainment’s Twitter for future updates on the 2017 release of Dino Frontier.

Versions is brought to you by Nod Labs,
Precision wireless controllers for your virtual, augmented and actual reality.
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