Thought VR was just for gamers? Think again: Fans of Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History” podcast can now explore the drama of World War I in a historic immersive reality experience narrated by the podcaster. “War Remains,” which has been produced by MWM Immersive with development by Flight School Studio and audio design by Skywalker Sound, opened its doors in Austin, Tx. Monday.
The experience allows participants to explore a set with physical cues, including rumbling floors and wind machines, that is tied to a story playing in VR. It transports viewers to the Western Front battlefield of World War I, complete with dark and scary trenches under fire from advancing enemy troops.
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“I’ve always said that places like the Western Front at their worst were inconceivable to those who hadn’t seen it first hand, but one of the valuable parts of this experience is it uses the latest technology and techniques to make it easier to imagine,” Carlin said when the piece first debuted at Tribeca earlier this year.
“War Remains” is just the latest location-based VR experience from MWM Immersive, which also produced “Chained: A Victorian Nightmare,” a piece that combined VR with immersive theater. MWM Immersive executive producer Ethan Stearns said that the company never once worried about the fact that “War Remains” was a lot darker than a lot of the other location-based VR experiences out there. “There are lots and lots of people who are trying to seek out deeper understanding of historical events,” he said. “To us, it made sense.”
“War Remains” will show in Austin until September 1, but Stearns said that the company was looking to bring the experience to other spaces, including possibly museums, as well. As with “Chained,” MWM Immersive is also looking at ways to bring a version of the title to home-based VR headsets at some point in the future. “We want to bring these experiences to as many people as possible,” Stearns said.