From the sold-out initial run of Oculus Rift to the New York Times now publishing stories in an “immersive format,” technology reporters and trend watchers are claiming that 2016 is the year of virtual reality (VR). In the arts and entertainment world, VR has been focused mostly in gaming, but, as a WIRED World in 2016 annual trends report noted earlier this year, it is on the rise in the film industry, as well, with Sundance Institute starting a residency program exclusively for VR-filmmakers.
As these filmmakers experiment with this technology, they are realizing the hurdles and the possibilities in how they are able to create and tell stories. One challenge for filmmakers is that movie-going tends to be a communal experience, whereas watching a film on a VR headset is a singular experience.
For readers, that isn’t the case, however, and perhaps there might be a greater consumer interest in this technology for a “reading” experience going forward. I put reading in quotes because, with VR, readers won’t necessarily be reading, which may pose an interesting hurdle for our own industry and the kind of content we will develop for the technology.
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