Having spent a few hours with the VR machine, I was left thinking about media other than gaming for the device.
Gaming works really well because of the assumption of so very many games that whatever you can see on the screen is in your field of vision anyway. Not just First Person kinda games (think Doom) but also games where the camera is over the shoulder (think stuff like Tomb Raider or Grand Theft Auto).
Part of the fun of those games is the stuff that is going on when it’s behind you. “Dang. I died. Again.”
Movies, however, deliberately do *NOT* work like that. The director, if s/he knows what s/he’s doing, knows that you are sitting and looking at a rectangle. If they want you to look at an actor’s hand, dang it, they’re going to block the scene so the actor’s hand is prominent. Shine a bright light on it! Put a sparkly bracelet or jangly watch on the wrist! ZOOM IN!
In VR, the viewer could easily be staring off in the far corner of the room trying to figure out if the plates in the cabinet are the same kind that Aunt Sally has in her apartment. Staring at the poster trying to figure out if the writing is in Spanish or in Portuguese. “Oh, I was supposed to be looking at the actors?”
Maybe there will be something like tight focus on conversational scenes (you can look 15 degrees this or that way but not turn around) and the full 360 experience for the combat scene or the march on city hall or the chase scene or what have you.
Heck, maybe it’ll result in a new kind of genre of the evolution of the form… in the same way that the movie evolved from the stage play, VR will evolve from the movie.
But, at this point, I doubt it. The ability of directors to say “no, look *HERE*” will be too great to leave to chance.
But I’m looking forward to seeing what inspired amateurs do before everybody gives up on trying, though.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?