In November 2014, interviewed by British magazine Empire, James Cameron said about the upcoming sequels to “Avatar”: “You will shit yourself with your mouth wide open.” On that same day, we experienced our first shot of modern virtual reality, and it blew our minds. Time to say goodbye to the pixelated experiences we had in the 90s. For the first time, it seemed like – felt like – being teleported into another world. The term storyworld was finally making sense.
It also raised thousands of questions. What kind of stories would we get to experience with such a powerful medium? Who would craft these new experiences, at the crossroads of movies and videogames? How do you address the audience when it is inside the screen? And will we have to endure motion sickness at work every day?
We set out to find answers, diving headfirst into VR during 2015, consuming all kinds of immersive content and experiences. We also reached out to creators exploring the new frontiers of storytelling, innovators shaping a highly emotional – sometimes magical – medium.
Today, we’re launching imm3rsive to share these experiences with you and report on the shifts happening in the entertainment landscape. We’ll be sharing insights from the most talented creatives and keep you updated on the best immersive content out there.
imm3rsive is dedicated to new forms of entertainment: virtual reality movies, games and experiences, 360° video, 3D/4D movies, immersive installations, augmented reality, holography and digitally-enhanced attractions.
We keep tabs on an industry projected to be worth $30 billion by 2020, and look at trends shaping the future of entertainment. While gaming is currently dominating the VR narrative content landscape, movies (fiction, animation, documentary), music, news, sports and marketing are also embracing immersive formats.
With the upcoming launch of high-end VR headsets from the gaming industry (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PlayStation VR), the increasing number of dedicated studios and distribution platforms, 2016 looks to be a very exciting year. But again, all this novelty would amount to nothing without compelling content.
Header image: Quasar by FIELD – Ars Electronica