Studio Lead Jacqueline Blundell shares her thoughts on “Immersion in the Entertainment industry”.
Immersion is at the heart of the Theme Park and Entertainment industry. The ability to
temporarily suspend reality is key when considering both the visitor journey and overall
experience. With advances in technology, immersion in our daily lives has become even
more accessible and possible. From VR gaming and haptics to looking forward to the future
and the development of the Metaverse and smart cities – the possibilities are endless.
However, the downside to this has is that our expectations of ‘entertainment’ when we
leave the house are even higher than before. The question here is, how do we keep ahead
of the curve and keep our entertainment entertaining?
Firstly, make the experience personal. We all want to feel at the heart of the narrative and
that we have something to gain by taking part. What will the reward be? How can it be
tailored to different wants and abilities? How can both individuals and groups of different
sizes take part in the same experience? These are all important factors to consider during
the creative process. In addition to this, the take away at the end should be such that we
feel we have something significant to gain by returning. With advances in AI we can even
add predictability into the mix. Data collected on a person can be taken into account when
personalising experiences. This includes analysing their behaviours and trends to offer
something truly unique. It’s fair to say that ’Machine learning’ is set to be a big part of the
future of entertainment.
Secondly, suspending reality relies on drawing inspiration from it. For something to feel
‘real’ it has to originate from something we know. Whether that’s the style of architecture,
a lived experience or more simply the way something responds to touch, its roots have to
be tangible. If they’re not, our brains simply won’t believe it and the illusion is broken. This
relates particularly to the choice of technology and the purpose it is meant to serve. It’s
important to integrate it in a way which is inspired by how the illusion would function in real
world, before twisting it to suit the effect you wish to create.
Thirdly and finally, narrative, narrative, narrative. With gaming being a huge part of people’s
lives, we are used to complex storytelling, multiple pathways and endings, plus the
opportunity to evaluate and re-live the narrative as many times as we want – not to mention
the ability to play in ‘open worlds’. This level of complexity has to now be translated into the
entertainment sector in order to make the experience both compelling and comparable to
what we get at home.
Taking all of this into consideration, there are some challenging but exciting times ahead for
the industry. Keeping your knowledge current and fresh will be key to staying ahead of the
Contact Scruffy Dog Creative Group
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