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When people think of play, many most likely revert back to their childhood and picture their innocent games of make-believe and pretend. According to Brian Sutton-Smith, author of The Ambiguity of Play, play “glorifies freedom, originality, genius, the arts, and the innocent and uncorrupted character of the childhood vision” (Sutton-Smith, vii). He claims that play is ambiguous, and can deal with many different ideas and characters such as animals, children, adults, fate, power, identity, imagination, phantasmagoria, the self, frivolity, as well as many other outside factors (Sutton-Smith, v). However, I’d like to focus on Sutton-Smith’s definition above that relates play to glorifying freedom and innocence and play as an element of imagination and make believe because this is my most enjoyable form of play.
The inspiration for my project is the movie, “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” because it is my favorite fantasy movie. When watching these movies, a person can get lost in the colorful worlds, detailed characters and incredible adventures that create the magic of the film. This is the old technology I would like to stem from. Watching movies is in itself is an exciting and imaginative form of play. You get emotionally attached to the characters and are sad when the movie ends. But most of the time you are sitting in a theater or a room and just watching the film. I want to take this idea a step further. I want to allow people to step inside the movies they watch. So instead of being a passive receiver of the movie, I want a person to be able to interact with the film and its characters. To achieve this heightened sense of play, I have developed the Virtual Realm.
The player must be over 18 years of age for equipment liability reasons and this type of game can appeal to all different types of people: male/female, younger/older, lower/upper class etc. The Virtual Realm can be compared to places like virtual reality arcades and interactive shows like Medieval Times. The Virtual Realm can be a solitary experience or people may choose to interact as a group. They can enter into the same chamber (fits 3 people max, depending on size of chamber) or they can all enter different chambers and interact in the scene together by being different characters.
The Making of the Virtual Realm
The Virtual Realm is a new virtually reality based playground where a person can go if they wish to interact with their favorite movies.
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"Creating a Virtual Reality Game." 123HelpMe.com. 23 Mar 2019
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Acting out the Scenes
After the prep work is finished, the scene will start. Actors will be hired by the Virtual Realm to digitally interact with the people in each virtual chamber. These actors will take on the rolls of the people in the movies. They will be performing the scenes in other chambers and digitally transferred to the chamber of the new person. The person will have the option of having a karaoke type screen to read specific lines off of, or the choice of ad-libbing the scenes themselves. The other actors will accommodate to the person who chose the scene. As the other actors read their lines and/or ad-lib, the sounds that the new player hears will still be in the voices of the character from the respective movie. The voices will be digitally transformed as they are sent to the chamber of the player because each actor will have to register which character they are and get into costume. The player can then interact with the actors and go on the journey for his selected amount of time. If a group of players want to choose the same movie scene, they have the option of interacting not only with the actors, but with other players in the Virtual Realm at the same time. This way the player feels like they are really part of the movie and they can also interact socially. If this idea is successful we can include the option of playing the entire movie through.
Benefits of the Virtual Realm
The Virtual Realm will be relatively easy to use because there will be written instructions as well as employees giving out directions. I believe people will want to enter the Virtual Realm because it allows them to be a part of their favorite thing. Watching a movie is one thing, but being able to interact with the characters and actually go on a virtual journey will be much more exciting as well as stimulating both physically and mentally. The Virtual Realm allows players to experience worlds, situations and lifestyles that they might have otherwise not had access to. This could bring about self revelation, life lessons and realizations about relationships. For example, after fighting in a battle you might have a stronger appreciation for life as well as for soldiers who fight in real life. After going on, what has the chance to be a life changing journey, some players might have a new-found respect and appreciation for what they have. Though there is no real risk of death or pain, the Virtual Realm maybe help others open their eyes to the real world. The game has the opportunity to be very poignant to certain players and “the value for the hegemonial group is that playing the games can become a kind of persuasion to believe in the general ideology surrounding them” (Sutton-Smith, 96). So, if a person is entering a scene from The Lord of the Rings, specifically the final scene in the third movie, they might be more likely to adopt the primary sense of good conquering evil and value some of the undertones of the movie such as friendship, loyalty, faith, hope and truth. Also, if you play often enough and you chose scenes that involve a lot of physical activity, the Virtual Realm is almost a way to exercise without even knowing you are doing it. This benefits your health as well.