South by Southwest (SXSW) has explored virtual reality (VR) in the past years and it has always been a standout. This 2016, VR is everywhere, as Venture Beat writes ? from cinematic VR, virtual football, to virtual storytelling and city planning. Meanwhile, Game of Thrones (GoT) is the biggest epic fantasy series today. Imagine the joy (and terror) of finally being able to immerse yourself in the world of Westeros through VR. GoT, being such a phenomenal fantasy series, could be available on VR sooner than later.
Ascend the Wall is the title of the Game of Thrones VR which was part of the travelling exhibit to promote the epic fantasy series in the SXSW in 2014. The Oculus Rift, which is a VR headset specifically made for video gaming, provides a 360-degree realistic view of the surroundings. Mike Woods, creative director of Framestore, a visual effects company in London, was inspired by the device?s capabilities and thus designed Ascend the Wall for GoT fans who want to experience a part of Westeros themselves. ??
CNN describes the Game of Thrones VR experience beginning with a reference from the oath of the Brothers of the Night?s Watch:
Night gathers, and now your watch begins.
You step into the elevator and take a last look around the courtyard of Castle Black before a bone-rattling ride lifts you 700 feet, depositing you in the whipping wind of the frigid north, high atop The Wall.
Then, as the red flames of torches flicker in the distance, you hear two telling blasts from the watchmen’s horns. The wildlings are coming.
?It?s whatever you want it to be,? said Woods. As if dreams and fantasies are already within sight and within reach. ?There are, literally, endless possibilities,? added Woods.
Framestore had won Oscars for best visual effects for the 2013 movie, Gravity, and for The Golden Compass in 2008.
The GoT exhibit also featured props, costumes and other displays where visitors lined up for up to two hours for their turn to ?ascend the wall.?
With VR quickly becoming a commercial success today with Samsung releasing its Gear VR headset and making it compatible to their new handset models, it won?t be a surprise if an epic fantasy series would come out with a complete VR feature. We?re looking at you Game of Thrones!
Just imagine, riding Drogon over the Dothraki Sea and the ruins of Old Valyria, walking the streets of King?s landing to the Red Keep to sit on the Iron Throne, descending into the crypts of Winterfell to see the stone cold faces on the tombs of the old Starks of the North, seeing the sultry beauty of Dorne, walking amongst or running from White Walkers beyond the Wall, and even flying (or, more accurately, falling) out of the moon door at the Eerie?
There are, literally, endless possibilities as Woods had said. And now we are left to wonder ? how far would technology go to make these epic fantasy dreams a reality?