Movie Question: V.R. Movies

Will Virtual Reality and movies have a future together?

With the rise of 3D effects in movies, many are asking how this trend will evolve into the future. Many of the biggest films released this year had the option for 3D showtimes as well, especially kid’s movies and superhero movies (basically… Disney). Even home televisions have 3D capability, even though they require glasses. James Cameron is at the forefront of movie technology, proving again and again that whatever film he releases will start a trend of films behind it (see Terminator 2: Judgment Day or Avatar for great examples of this), and he claims that his Avatar sequel, rumored to be released holiday of 2018, will be 3D without the audience having to wear glasses. If this tend continues, films will compete to be more and more engaging for the viewer, but do you think virtual reality and movies will ever mix?

Video Games are the most engaging style of narrative that an audience member can engage in, and my biggest worry with VR movies is that they will simply become video games. It is a cool and advanced notion to put the audience member in the character’s shoes, but many films already seem to do that. I think VR movies would be a good idea for certain amusement parks, but movie theaters should stay far away from them; it simply does not seem like as great of an idea as it sounds. Collider Movie Talk included a conversation like this over the summer, and one thing that Mark Ellis said was something like in a Star Wars film, for example, it would be annoying to have to play the scene over and over again because you don’t look at the most important thing each time, but it would be cool to see bonus things upon repeat viewings. Seeing Hardcore Henry come and go, it doesn’t even seem like the audience is ready for something like this.

On the other hand, it could add a very rich and engaging nature to the film, and seeing as how video games that offer great stories, or rich first-person gameplay are the most popular (Skyrim being one of my all-time favorites), maybe virtual reality could really take off as something more than simply a fun thing to look at and play around with. With 3D, curved TVs, DBOX, and AMC Prime, movies are becoming more and more advanced and inviting to audience members, and the next step may very well be VR. When I think of Virtual Reality movies, I think of the first levels of many video games, or Telltale video games, which play as movies but with a more limited amount of player-engagement as far as gameplay goes, but emphasized as far as narrative structure goes. For movies, this could be an advancement, and an enjoyable one at that, but I don’t think it would be anything more than simply a fad. What about you? Do you think that Virtual Reality and movies will have a future together at all, and how short or long do you think that future would be? Comment below, I’d love to hear what you think! As always, thank for reading and I’ll see you soon!

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