The recent 2016 Sundance festival saw the first serious, non-gaming application of VR. Hollywood is constantly looking for new, fresh voices to continue creating unique and individual stories, but VR provides not only the possibility of new stories, but quite literally, new perspectives. Rather than engaging the emotions of consumers, VR could not only engage viewers’ mentally, but also physically; with 9 VR projects at Sundance 2016 being some of the first to do so. The projects at the festival ranged from a full-fledged Mars mission from The Martian, where users essentially play through key scenes in the film, to serialized VR storytelling in Defrost, a first person POV VR drama from director Randal Kleiser, which tells the story of a woman who recently awoke from a coma. Granted most current virtual reality films and entertainment require accessory items to help heighten the experience, like a specially designed D-Box chair for The Martian experience, or a special interactive studio for Alex McDowell’s The Leviathan Project adaptation, which incorporates the visual experience, and prompts users to actually touch various objects in the studio, which are then incorporated into the story.

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