Café SereniTea is a seated VR experience for the Oculus Quest. As the experience begins, a series of environmental stressors appear, resulting in a panic attack.
48 Hour Sprint June 2021
"Café SereniTea" is a seated VR experience designed for Oculus Quest, offering a unique perspective on panic attacks. It guides users through both the person experiencing a panic attack and a friend witnessing it. The experience fosters an understanding of panic attacks, self-regulation strategies, and peer support to neutralize environmental stressors.
Our solution, "Café SereniTea," immerses users in a unique journey that includes:
In "Café SereniTea," users first assume the role of an observer and then transition into the shoes of "Friend 1," who experiences a panic attack. As "Friend 1," they interact with their surroundings in a café setting but soon encounter the distressing symptoms of a panic attack: blurred vision, heightened heart rate, and an overwhelming environment.
That's when "Friend 2," their supportive companion, intervenes. "Friend 2" suggests actions such as breathing exercises, focusing on objects, and recalling positive memories to help "Friend 1" regain composure. With these actions, "Friend 1" manages the panic attack and proceeds to complete their order. Users then switch roles and become "Friend 2," observing "Friend 1's" panic attack, asking about symptoms, and assisting in taking appropriate actions.
When the panic attack sets in, actions become crucial. "Friend 1" can choose to focus on specific objects, reducing blurred vision and calming their heart rate. They can also recall happy memories, filtering out overwhelming auditory stimuli and regaining composure. Fixating on a neutral object helps correct tunnel vision and regain focus. As "Friend 2," users steer conversations away from stressful topics, lowering their friend's heart rate. Adjusting the café's music volume helps filter auditory stimuli. Diverting unwanted attention from the table corrects tunnel vision for the friend, enabling them to complete the order. These actions form a critical part of the virtual reality experience in "Café SereniTea," enhancing understanding and empathy for those experiencing panic attacks.
"Café SereniTea" was brought to life through an intense 48-hour sprint, crafted during an XR Jam where the project team united virtually from different locations.
Rachel De Paz