Advanced Television

Does VR represent the next stage of interactive entertainment?

May 7, 2024

The live streaming era has brought about a huge rise in interactive experiences online, in which viewers can feel a part of the action by commenting on live feeds. Virtual reality represents the next step in that progression, and it could lead to a greater amount of interactive content on television.

Some television creators have already toyed with programming that requires input from the viewer, but it hasn’t kicked off yet. VR could change that and bring about new, more active ways of watching television.

VR Will Expand Upon Live Streaming

Live streaming has been one of the greatest developments of the internet era, and it has helped people from all over the world form greater connections with one another. It all started in the online casino industry, with developers offering classic table games to players in their homes. Now, players enjoy games like Lightning Roulette, which show how far live streaming has come over the last decade. Due to the high demand for these games, developers have expanded on what’s available, offering twists and new ways of playing classic games. This title uses traditional roulette rules, but also features animations and random multipliers.

When playing live streamed titles, players have the chance to chat to the dealer, just as they would in a real world casino. VR will enhance this experience further in the next few years and will place players at the heart of the games. Some developers have already experimented with VR, and it’s likely to creep into the industry gradually.

Interactive Offerings Haven’t Taken Off Yet

There have already been quite a few interactive television shows, but the format hasn’t managed to take off on a wide scale yet. Most of these offerings are on Netflix, with other streaming services neglecting to make much interactive content thus far. This could change, though, if the format gets going in VR. Netflix is often ahead of the curve, and its early interactive options could be a sign of what’s to come.

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch was one of the most notable interactive offerings, and one that inspired others to release similar programming. The standalone episode of the dystopian series from Charlie Brooker experimented with giving viewers control over what happened and had various possibilities with story branches. It was well received, but the creator doesn’t have any plans to make another one.

VR Could Lead to Full Immersion in Television Shows

Brooker may change his mind when VR starts to creep into the mainstream, though, as this will lead to new ways of enjoying television. Instead of simply giving viewers the chance to answer on screen prompts to guide the story, they may find themselves caught up in the action and directly affecting it.

VR could be a gamechanger for television, and it may lead to completely new techniques. Instead of linear stories, there could soon be interactive tales that change based on users’ actions within the VR world of the television programme. It seems fair to expect something like this, as it would simply be an expansion on the interactive offerings that already exist.

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