Saturday, February 7, 2015

Immersive Cinema

I've been blown away by the excitement we've stirred up with our studio's announcement.   The response we've gotten on our first steps into "immersive cinema" hints that what we're doing could have the impact we believe it could.

When we were discussing how to talk about ourselves, we thought the best way to convey our work was "immersive cinema".  It's a good term for where we're at.  We're so young as creators and as an audience that we don't have a good common language for describing what we're making, and so we do the same thing we do when we're creating, we steal from what we know.

Our audience understands movies and how cinema is a medium for rich, directed, passive story telling.  What we make is different enough compared to heavily interactive games that it would be misleading to say we're making story driven games.  So it makes sense that instead of coming up with something obfuscating like "realtime rendered, director curated story telling with reactive elements for tailored immersive experience", we just say "immersive cinema".

But here's the problem in the long run:  using the term "cinema" implies that what we're doing is the next step in the art of movie making.  We as VR makers have come to appreciate that placing our audience in an immersive environment and then telling them a compelling story is going to require so much invention that calling what we do a movie or a game misses the mark.

Those of us who have started in this new medium may have come from those known industries, but I look forward to the day when we find our own word for what a VR experience is.