Virtual Reality at San Diego Comic Con – Featuring Teen Wolf and American Horror Story
Virtual reality was everywhere at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, and it’s pants-wettingly terrifying.
I was lucky enough to try out two experiences in particular, one at the FXhibition just past the San Diego Convention Center, and the other on the convention floor itself.
Amid a host of FX Network show set pieces including Paddy’s Pub and a giant Strigoi infected Statue of Liberty, there was a silo. A very special, very scary silo. Upon entering the building we were greeted by five people in surgical scrubs all standing by stone platforms. We were directed to lie down. We were placed in our goggles and headphones. A white sheet was placed on top of us. We were in an American Horror Story.
Upon looking around we could see the same room, but not the surgeons. Only the five of us under our sheets. Tiny particles of wheat floated around the room. It was creepy so I looked around again. All the other platforms were gone. I was completely and totally alone. Then, everything went black.
The rest of the experience was a combination of different kinds of scares from throughout AHS history. There were multiple creatures and locations, and we were virtual murdered so many times. I screamed. Constantly.
The most remarkable part however, was not the pacing, the scares, or the graphics. It was the feeling of movement. Whether we were falling down an elevator shaft or being pushed down a hotel hallway on a luggage cart, it felt real. And for once, I actually enjoyed being horrified.
The next was at MTV’s booth. While Teen Wolf is not the kind of show I expect to be horrified by, the way the VR approached immersion was very clever. This time, I was standing, and the plot of the experience was gaze activated. We chose between two levels by looking at a particular spot on a message board (think the old cork ones). I got to try out both the tunnel and the library, and both were a lot of fun. The ending of the tunnel was decided by where you looked, and the plot was reminiscent of the classic Doctor Who episode Blink, but reversed. If you look at the monsters, they will always hunt you. Creepy, right?
I honestly can’t wait to try more VR. I want to be in The Matrix, on The Wall from Game of Thrones, and most importantly – where is my Spider-Man swinging through New York game?
Please, do tell us your virtual reality stories in the comments. Did you like it? Did it make you feel woozy? Did you scream? Or is the whole thing just a crazy fad?