Of dreamworlds and new realities
Sara Lisa Vogl
Virtual Reality Shaman
Create the Matrix? That’s entirely conceivable. » «
She holds a degree in communication design and is an altogether likeable nerd and digital revolutionary. Her name: Sara Lisa Vogl. In her adopted home of Berlin, the virtual reality expert engages in a creative exchange with start-ups at VR Base Berlin, such as Realities.io, to create virtual worlds which could transform the world we live in.
A loft in the heart of Berlin’s Neukölln district. A young woman wearing a futuristic headset waves her arms through free space. Her movements appear aimless. But this is deceptive: Sara Lisa Vogl knows exactly what she is doing. As a VR expert, she creates never-before-seen worlds of experience every day.
Virtual reality, VR for short – the representation and perception of reality in an environment generated by a computer in real time. Initial efforts to market the technology in the 1990s failed. “It wasn’t far enough along – until now,” says Sara Lisa Vogl with certainty. It wasn’t Berlin’s clubs or history that drew her to the German capital. Rather, she moved to this melting pot to forge a virtual reality space together with creatives, developers and VR enthusiasts.
Fascination Virtual reality
The 26-year-old is currently developing the VR game Lucid Trips – a project that is close to her heart. “It’s a dreamlike, surreal world where you can escape everyday life, let loose and meet other people.” As a so-called VR shaman, Sara Lisa Vogl also supports other virtual travellers in their VR experiences, sometimes for days at a time. “As soon as you put on the goggles, you’re gone,” she says, “and you need someone to help you – to eat, find your way to the bathroom or bed, or deal with technical problems.”
Her fascination with virtual reality is driven by an unbridled urge to explore: “I like to immerse myself in other worlds – worlds outside of reality.” These can be space stations and dreamworlds, or crisis areas and landscapes. For Sara Lisa Vogl, the boundary between the real and virtual worlds is fluid – even that which is virtually experienced is very much part of her personal reality. It isn’t only for this reason that VR opens up possibilities for her offered by no other medium. Sara Lisa Vogl explains: “The stimuli of the real world are distracting. VR is much clearer, much more simply structured. In this sense, the headset is like a set of earphones for the eyes. It lets you immerse yourself completely in something else and fully blocks out the actual surroundings.”
When her journey began three years ago, Sara Lisa Vogl didn’t know which direction she should go in. Today, she is sure: “I want the VR revolution to become part of everyday life. So, especially in the rapidly changing start-up scene, it’s important for me to keep a cool head and put my freedoms to good use towards achieving my aims. For me, that’s clarity.”