Master Chief has been many things – a pillar for Xbox consoles, a hero, and the subject of many tattoos and Destiny 2 cosplays. Thanks to a new Xbox Series X ad from Thor director Taiki Waititi, we can now add "DJ space cat" to Master Chief's credentials.
The "Lucid Odyssey" ad doubles down on the Xbox slogan "power your dreams" with a whole dang universe of technology built around lucid dreaming. Our main character, the appropriately named gamer MoonLiteWolf, has her dreams recorded and manifested through the power of the Xbox Series X. Things start off fairly normal with a walk through a forest, then we get into more ethereal but still well-trod territory with flying whales, and then a cat starts dancing and you know what happens next.
"Tapping into the state of hypnagogia [lucid dreaming] is nothing new," Xbox says. "Throughout history, several great minds have used it to inspire their thinking, including Aristotle, Thomas Edison, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mary Shelley."
If you genuinely thought you'd see DJ Master Kitty and Thomas Edison mentioned in the same Xbox ad, I want you to stamp that 2020 bingo card with the might of Zeus. If not, join us in the real world as we look on with a mix of wonder and confusion.
Believe it or not, there's an even weirder blurb right at the end of the ad: "This project was done using the Targeted Dream Incubation technique, based on research described in the special issue on Dreaming Engineering, published in the journal, Consciousness and Cognition." I thought Xbox was just being a bit meta, but this is a real study in a real journal (opens in new tab). In it, some authors argue that, with some modifications, VR technology could be used to manufacture or manifest dreams similar to the way shown in the ad. I think the study Xbox is referencing is this one on Dormio (opens in new tab), described as " a new wearable electronic device" that can "automatically generate serial auditory dream incubations." We're a blue million miles away from actually creating an experience like that, but it's wild that an ad starring DJ Space Kitty was at least loosely based on legitimate research, albeit fantastical and theoretical research.
Here's where to buy Xbox Series X so that you too can dream of Master Chief.