Just how hot is #VR right now? According to the trailblazing folks behind The Void, it's already old hat. Hyper-Reality is the shiny new thing, and you squares better get with the program. What exactly lurks in The Void? So far...aliens, ancient tombs, and g-g-g-ghosts!
More like 'Hype'-R-Reality, amirite?
Take it easy, fictional construct of a reader. I know, you can't help yourself, I'm sorry. Puns aside, this 'hyper-reality' is actually pretty cool. Self-billed as 'The world's most innovative entertainment experience', The Void explains hyper-reality thusly:
Our proprietary hardware and software explode the limitations of current and upcoming VR entertainment offerings by layering digital worlds over the top of real-time interactive environments.
From textures and temperatures to moisture and motion, our environments respond to your movements and choices and evolve naturally as you interact with them.
This is basically the concept of 'Augmented Reality' or AR, used most famously with games like #PokémonGO, but kickstarted into the next level by having the AR element overlay everything around you, making an immersive environment like VR, that's mapped onto your real environment like a skin. You've got a headset, suit, and peripherals a la VR, but move around and act in the real world while using them.
Take a look at the tech in action:
Didn't you warn us that this would be horrifying?
Glad you're such a big fan of mine, hypothetical reader. As a matter of fact, I did say that this merging of VR and AR was inevitably going to be the eventual future of horror games, and gaming in general. But with tech so immersive, it's obviously too dangerous to play this kind of thing in public. Pokémon GO is risky enough right now. In the case of The Void, you have bespoke physical environments and interactive objects set up especially for the game experience. The tech simply overlays its virtual reality on top. For example, a maze set up in a warehouse. A bland office chair can become futuristic furniture in a spaceship, or a stone bench in an ancient temple.
But if you do want a fright, you can bust some ghosts in NYC
Right now the different game environments for The Void are mainly being shown to press and playtesters at exclusive events, but there is a commercially available Hyper-Reality experience available at Madame Tussaud's in New York. In this particular event, players will use The Void to assume the role of #Ghostbusters cleaning up a paranormal infestation in a New York apartment.
The minds behind The Void are ambitious, hoping that eventually their VR enclaves will become big money popular entertainment, as ubiquitous as movie theaters are right now.