About DEEP


About DEEP

DEEP is a meditative VR game
controlled by breathing.

The Game
Players don a Virtual Reality headset and a custom DEEP controller to explore a beautiful and mysterious underwater world. Allow the game to sweep you into its relaxing embrace as it teaches you yogic breathing techniques that can alleviate stress, anxiety, and mild depression.

Watch the teaser

Watch the TED x talk

The Controller
The custom controller measures diaphragm expansion in order to sense deep breathing. This information is fed back to the player in a variety of visual cues, intimately linking their consciousness and breath. The environment's layout gently encourages the player to slow their breath, to sink deeper and relax. It can be played for therapeutic or aesthetic reasons, and does not require the use on arms, legs or hands.





DEEP is supported by


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(Deep) was calming, and I began to experience the sense of peace I brushed against in my other experiments in meditation ... for me, for a few minutes, it worked.”
— Ben Kuchera, Polygon
For the player it’s simple, yet it’s hard to explain how much better it made me feel … just five minutes strapped to Harris’s breathing device felt remarkable.”

— Joe Donnelly, VICE
Deep … gives users an accessible, immersive avenue toward claiming agency over their own bodies.”

— Michael Andor Brodeur, Boston Globe
I want to live here”

— Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Rez & Child of Eden






the makers

the makers


When the Oculus Rift first came out, Owen began making a personal meditation aid to help him in his practice. Like many people, Owen has suffered from anxiety and bouts of depression. For the last 15 years, he has used meditation and breathing techniques to help manage these problems. He sought to create a digital zen garden, a place he could escape to at the end of a tough day to unwind and relax.

He was surprised to find out that there was a lot of interest in the concept and began developing it for a wider audience. In the summer of 2014, after showing the work at Playful Arts Festival in Den Bosch, he was introduced to Niki. Niki’s art and ideas complemented and expanded the vision of the game. Owen and Niki are now collaborating together to build a new version of DEEP.


Niki Smit

Owen Harris

Owen Harris is a Game Designer, VR designer and lover of all things playful. When not working on DEEP, he designs games and VR experiences for the University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK, Gambrinous and others. He has taught Game Design in DIT and has spoken all over Ireland and Europe about games, virtual reality and on the intersection of health and playful experiences. He is a founder of Imirt, an organisation set up to improve the quality and visibility of Irish games, and runs the local community game design event dubLUDO. His mission is to bring about an increased awareness of the value of playfulness in everyday life.
You can follow him here and read more about his work here


Niki Smit is co-founder of Monobanda PLAY, a Utrecht based game company that develops playful interactive experiences. He is a game designer and artist. Niki aims to explore and expand the boundaries of games and interaction and focuses heavily on researching and developing new forms of play and meaningful interactivity.


Andy Mooney

Andy Mooney is a musician, videographer and grand master at Paradoxical Recordings. He has studied jazz, digital music, and is an avid experimenter with the mediums of music and video. He has contributed music to various computer games, TV shows and a host of experimental films. 

Bryan Duggan

Bryan is a lecturer in the DIT School of Computing who loves teaching things like creative coding, virtual reality and game AI. A board member of the International GameCraft Foundation, Bryan regularly organises and participates in games jams. You can find more about Bryan’s projects on his blog or youtube channel. 

Charles Putney

Charles Putney is an engineer whose first experience with computing was with a Bendix G15 drum computer at Carnegie Mellon. More followed with CDC G20, IBM 360, Univac 1108, Apple II, and 386XXX. Charles worked on microprocessor programming and design for 6502, Z80, and 8051. His career in engineering started with Texas Instruments in the 1970s and continued with Becton Dickinson, Dataproducts, Hitachi Printing Solutions and Ricoh Printing Systems Europe. Now technically retired, Charles spends his time programming satellites and whatever else comes his way. Catch him on Code Project.

Cheryl Harding

Cheryl is a software engineer by trade, but a maker, crafter, and tinkerer, by compulsion. Currently consumed by wearable tech, etextiles, and human-computer interfaces, she can often be found working on a multitude of projects in her local hackerspace, TOG. She sometimes blogs, but is probably most easily tracked down on Twitter.

Grainne Putney

Grainne has plenty of experience with crafting game props, being chief seamstress for the game Touched that was shown at Playful Arts Festival in 2014. She really enjoyed sewing the belts for the latest version of DEEP!