Cannes Lions

Xbox: Walking In Steve’s Dreams

BIG ORANGE, Amsterdam / XBOX / 2021

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The Xbox SeriesX is the most powerful console in the waking world. The Power Your Dreams tagline was put to the test, literarily.

Through a partnership with scientists at one of the world's leading research universities, the dreams of gamers were captured by a breakthrough research method, called the Targeted Dream Incubation technique.

To highlight their innovative spatial audio technology, and to demonstrate the 3D Spatial Sound capabilities of the Xbox Series X, Xbox worked with MIT to conduct a study to show how blind gamers experience gaming. After playing, blind gamer Steve Saylor was guided to a dream state where he was able to describe his Xbox-inspired dreams in real time.

We then had to take the dream data out of real dreams BlindGamerSteve had after experiencing Destiny 2 and craft it into a fun narrative story that will come to life in an immersive 3D audio adventure.


We wanted to let listeners walk in Steve's dreams. Immerse them in his dreamworld.

From the 8 "captured" dreams from the dream study, we choose 4 dreams which we converted to an audio-only scene of ± 30 seconds with as less narrative as possible to help the story.

The 4 dream scenes were tied together by Steve walking from 1 dream to the next. Together they form 1 complete dream story.

As a typical dream, each scene should be completely different, which also helps to show how spatial audio can excel.

From airy, wide open space to claustrophobic interior, from action to stillness. The fact that it was a real experiment, was also embedded in the audio storyline and helps to get in Steve's dreams and back to the real world.

Since Destiny 2 was the basis in the dream study, we used a distinguished sound of the game, recognisable for all gamers, "Stasis". A powerful beam to shoot and freeze enemies. All other sounds were designed from scratch and a combination of various techniques was used to get the best, widest and most convincing immersive 3D audio experience.

3D Spatial Sound – Walking in Steve’s Dreams was originally posted on Xbox’s YouTube channel and amplified via social on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

There was no paid media behind this asset. It was posted on December 8, 2020 and remains on Xbox’s YouTube and Social channels today.

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