The year 2019 may very well prove to be crucial for the virtual reality industry. After multiple years of not gaining traction, something has to change. The recently released VR adaptation of “Hamlet” once again highlights the potential of this technology. It puts viewers in the middle of the play itself. A very impressive use case, although not one that will drive mainstream adoption.
Experiencing Hamlet in Virtual Reality
There has always been a “gap” between stage plays and their audiences. As thrilling as these plays are, the audience is hardly ever an active part of it. With VR technology, that situation comes to change. The recently released Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit experience is one interesting example in this regard. It puts the audience in the middle of the famous play at all times.
Although this version of stage plays is very different, it is also pretty interesting. Viewers who experience this VR experience will “act” as the ghost of Hamlet’s murdered father. Google and Commonwealth Shakespeare Company have joined forces to deliver this immersive experience to the masses.
Which purpose this experience is designed to serve, remains up for debate. It is a great story-telling medium, for starters, However, the secondary purpose is to bring bigger audiences to the theater itself. That latter approach may not necessarily work out when people can experience everything from the comfort of their own home. Even so, it is an experience which cannot be replicated without technology at this time.
It is not the first time theatre productions explore innovative technologies to attract bigger audiences. So far, most of these ventures have been limited in terms of success. This new approach may put an interesting spin on more traditional stage plays. It is certainly a narrative-driven experience, which is well above the average standard of VR productions these days.
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