21st century entertainment is all about immersive experiences. Technology has enabled innovative companies to create environments that literally pulls the participant into another real or imagined world, enabling them to interact with the perceived world they see around them.
As a concept it is not new. Many cities around the world have been organising ‘ghost walks’, during which participants follow in the footsteps of historical characters, famous murderers such as Jack the Ripper, and their victims, during which the narration of a story gives you a real sense of how it must have felt like all those years ago.
The difference now is that technology can enhance that experience, using sound and vision to magnify the experience into something which often feels terrifyingly real.
We’ve scoured the internet to find you some of the most unusual immersive experiences. If you know of some even more obscure, we’d love to hear about them.
Viva Las Vengeance – a zombie experience
Based on the Netflix film Army of the Dead by Zack Snyder, The Viva Las Vengeance experience places you in a taco truck making your last stand against an army of flesh eating soldiers. Wearing a VR headset, you will experience every last terrifying twist and turn and toe curling zombie attack as they throw themselves at you in your tin can taco truck.
War of the Worlds – a Martian invasion
You’ve seen the film, now live it! Based on the HG Wells novel War of the Worlds, this two hour experience combines multi sensory effects and VR, with real live theatre and a rousing musical score to give you one of the most fascinating insights and experiences of living through a Martian invasion ever. This is not an adventure for the faint hearted – you will be walking the walk, sneaking into deserted houses, escaping London by boat, coming into close contact with a Martian, even flying to Mars by hot air balloon.
Be a Friend
As a fan of the iconic Friends show you might want to make a special trip to New York to immerse yourself into the world of Joey, Chandler, Ross, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe.
Located over two floors you can lounge around in Central Perk, chat over a coffee sat at Monica’s kitchen table, pat the head of Joey’s white ceramic dog – you can even poke the ugly naked guy in the building opposite!
Immerse yourself in art
Some of the most beautiful artworks in the world are now being taken and turned into immersive experiences where you can literally step into a painting. Artists such as Van Gogh and Klimt have been digitally analysed and recreated using audio and visual effects, and incorporating interactive elements that give you a deep dive insight into the artist’s life and thought processes toward creating such masterpieces.
Immersive experiences do not necessarily have to involve being thrown into a different environment through technology. Immersive travel literally means you throwing yourself into a local culture to truly experience how different communities live and work.
Immersive travel is about slowing down your world, and taking the time to stop, absorb, and understand how other cultures work. You can achieve this by looking at travelling to off grid destinations, avoiding the usual popular hotspot destinations and eschewing your usual creature comforts. Many looking for an immersive travel experience will take a sabbatical and volunteer for various overseas programs, whether that be a conservation project, or teaching English.
Whatever immersive travel experience you decide to follow, remember that this is true reality, not virtual reality. Be respectful.