I remember years ago, I came across an article on Gamasutra that likened Game Design to theme park Ride Design (maybe it was this one?). I generally think of VR as theatre, but with particular reference to immersive theatre. And of course, theme park ride/experience design also has links to theatre, whether immersive or site-specific.
Finally, the links have been connected in this amazing experience:
The future is looking very exciting for immserive experiences!
At PAX Australia 2015 in Melbourne, I attended Warren Spector’s keynote speech, which included the quote,
“We are all part of a medium nothing else can do: collaborative storytelling. And I think it’s important that we embrace that capability.”
It was an awesome speech, but I found myself mentally griping about that line. I really want to give the benefit of the doubt and assume Mr Spector intended to insert the word “digital” or “screen,” because otherwise we are really missing out on another entertainment medium that can do some incredible collaborative storytelling: live theatre.
For years, I’ve been thinking about a form of theatre we explored while at uni, but I couldn’t remember the name of it. Every time I tried to find it, I’d fail. Finally, I have found some amazing videos of the company that we must have been told about, PunchDrunk, working with MIT Media Lab to create a digital/real crossover version of their “Macbeth” inspired immersive theatre production, “Sleep No More.”
Some of the tech they’ve come up with is amazing! So, SO clever. Make sure you watch BOTH videos, as they contain very different content, and explain both about immersive theatre as well as their transmedia integration techniques.
Immersive theatre, as a concept, fascinated me from the moment I heard about it. I started thinking of it in terms of games, where most often you get a set of scripted events that are triggered when you get to a certain point in the game. It can be as heavy-handed as a separate cutscene, or better integrated into the game itself. I thought about games where it feels like the world exists without you, because the scripted events happen so seamlessly that they appear unrelated, and its up to you to actually make meaning. It made me really want to somehow design a game that works like one of these immersive theatre pieces, and use as much of the technique and theories developed through plays to build a new type of gameplay experience. So far, it looks like our world design project might end up snowballing into my opportunity to explore these ideas!