Solitary confinement and blindness are obviously terrible things but then why was my gut reaction, "wow, I'd like to know what that's like?" when presented the option? Same can be said of horror movies, war video games, or other stressful situations we put ourselves through. Why do we bother?
Entirely different discussion, but the point is, now we can experience these situations in a more realistic way than ever. People will pay for that. People paid to watch Scream 1, 2 AND 3 to feel aggravated and stressed for a few hours.
Some very cool examples of this media that doesn't exist for pure entertainment purpose are:
1. 6x9 An Immersive Experience in Solitary Confinement as shown at the Tribeca Film Festival. You can experience what nearly 80,000 incarcerated people in the United States experience- a completely controlled environment with no human contact and no light of day.
2. In Notes on Blindness, you can follow writer and academic John Hull's journey into blindness. The work is based on years of his auto cassette recordings of the deterioration of his mind into darkness.
Even though this is on the darker side, immersive reality also has it's place in more lighthearted experiences for people, like second life-- the Kardashians should be on this if they aren't already!
What are your thoughts? Who do you want to be for a few minutes? Or hours, or days? Or just get straight to the point, who's life do you want?
Imagine if your favorite shows were all a 360 degree experience. You'll have to wonder a little longer, but here's a cool taste of it- the opening intro of Game of Thones has been nicely done into a 360 video.
Best viewed on your phone, but still works on desktop. Use your mouse to drag away and see different angles.
Check it out on their Facebook page.
I downloaded Vrse at the recommendation of my friend. He told me it was snippets of random stuff, and that it is.
When you open it, you scroll down and it a series of banners that are like movie posters. The first one I see at the top is called, "The Source" from charity:water. I was in an area without wifi and attempted to stream this because downloading wasn't an option. I discourage this method, at least in a place with conditions like mine. The picture quality was awful and intermittent.
When I'm finally back at wifi, I reopen the app and keep scrolling until something interests me, and finally stop at at NYTVr's "Take Flight" it the cover photo looks creepy enough, with a girl suspended in the air in the classic horror movie garb of a white nightgown. She's contorted into an pseudo Exorcist style position. Naturally I gravitate toward this one. Download.
Wow. You start on the ground of what I think is New York City (the fact I can't tell immediately says a something of both me and the app, I suppose), then slowly but briskly, you start to levitate! It REALLY FEELS as if you are ascending. It's wild.
Within a few seconds you're in space. Creepy factor also ascends to another level, as people start appearing. Celebrities. Stationary. Why aren't they moving? I think to myself. They're just suspended there all around you as you look around.
Then, without warning, in the distance someone comes running toward you and shards of glass fly in your face as if he has broken glass to run toward you. He's not in love with you ladies, I'm not sure what the point is, but it looks cool AF. I'm not sure who put shards of glass on the drawing board, but I got goosebumps because I knew my face should be getting cut up and it wasn't. Lots of conflicting emotions here, as you can see. Pain, wonder, pleasure, awe, fear... it's like really nothing that I know to describe or have an imagination wild enough to make an accurate analogy.
Then all of a sudden, you begin to fall, it's sudden. Then you're on the ground. The End.
Some of the other titles include:
A History of Cuban Dance
The Displaced (NYT)
My Mother's Wing
Virtual Giving Trip brought to you by Toms
Walking New York (NYT Magazine)
As you may deduce from the titles, these are largely videos that will take you to difference places and or experiences. Very serious ones, in fact. They are cool, interesting topics from a educational perspective, not really for getaway entertainment.
Would download it, but not sure how often content will be refreshed for me to keep it on as a stationary app. Content seems to be quality. Nicely curated list of videos.
Update as of 5/11/16- never actually opened it again after this experience. Nothing compelling to bring it back. Deleted the app to free up storage. Nice to try it once.
VR & AR are for everyone.