Tribeca's VR in 2019 may make you question your own moral fiber

CNET | 3/6/2019 | Joan E. Solsman
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So you couldn't care less about virtual reality? No problem -- the creators in the Tribeca Film Festival's Immersive program are hacking together new ways to make care about something.

"A lot of creators are making strides in establishing ways to really, really distinguish this form of storytelling from others," Loren Hammonds, the senior programmer for the Immersive program at Tribeca, said in an interview as the festival revealed its selections for the showcase Wednesday.

Interactivity - VR - Character - Experiences - Element

Whether it's amped up interactivity in VR that makes you a central character, or site-specific experiences with a social element threaded through, or even new immersive tech with no headset required, many of the pieces selected for this year's immersive program at Tribeca aim to ratchet up your personal stake in the story. Baobab Studios, for example, heightens the pressure on you, the viewer, by making you the leading character in its most interactive experience yet, called Bonfire.

Baobab's Bonfire makes you the leading character on an unfamiliar planet.

Power - Immersion - VR - Character - Character

"The real power of immersion in VR is to allow you to connect with a character -- for a character to acknowledge you exist in their world and that you matter to them," Eric Darnell, Baobab's chief creative officer, said in an exclusive interview this week. "You can make choices that may push them way or bring the characters close to you."

VR needs something to bring people in. Years after virtual reality reemerged as one of tech buzziest trends, even its most ardent advocates now concede VR's hype failed to materialize in broad consumer interest. With the masses averse to the unfamiliar format that straps awkward headsets to your face, immersive storytellers have been shifting their focus on new tactics that may pave the way to popular appeal.


"Because the headsets haven't necessarily been adopted as we've...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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