Slay the play

The five senses come into play, as movie-watching and gaming get more immersive. Also, it’s time to channel the metaverse and leave it to your avatar to work magic
Slay the play

Experience is the new name of the game. Rather than just sit and gawk at a screen with a tub of popcorn for steadily diminishing company, it’s all going to get more experiential and sensory from here.

A fire rages on screen and your seat heats up; images of snowfall are paired with gusts of chilled air; an explosion in a film is felt like a blast. It’s almost like you are in the film, thanks to haptics and AR. The olfactory barrier may be breached too. A pepperoni pizza slice on screen could have you salivating in darkness because you would be able to smell the melted cheese and wood-baked smokiness.

Theatre of Sensation

The year 2023 with its big-ticket releases and blockbusters has shown that theatrical watching is here to stay. But it will surely become more immersive. It will be like visiting a theme park with custom rides. Movie-watching will become more like a game with a narrative; the line between the two is going to be completely blurred.

This is like watching a movie with a game console, where you would be able to choose the language you would like to watch the film in, creating a personalised cinematic experience. Oculus Rift—a set of virtual reality goggles that lets you experience games as if you were in them—is currently working to reproduce real-world environments for movie-goers. You might even be able to choose your camera angle to view the action from a different angle on your device.

How about the narrative? AI sensors would read your mood, and accordingly change the plotline—if you are sad, it will end the film on a happy note, or if you don’t like a character, it will kill the character in the next scene. You basically get to make your own film. You could also insert an avatar of yourself into a film you like.

Over the Top

The in-home movie-watching experience is also going to evolve. Picture this: You log into your preferred OTT platform but instead of you weeding through a haystack of content to come up with the needle you want, the AI-integrated system will be able to read what your mood is and throw up suggestions complementing the same. The system would be clued into personal social media accounts, making suggestions more targeted. Also, the content would be available from any corner of the world.
Subtitles would be passé. A voice command would be enough to stream content in any required language. The Cloud may be the next streaming platform. One would be able to buy films and send them directly to your preferred cloud storage account to watch on the go without it interfering with the space on your device or without you having to log in to your OTT account. Also, OTT may go to the movies. Imagine watching a six-part Game of Thrones on the large screen with your friends every weekend? The mantra for the future will be: the bigger, the better.

Lights, Camera, Action

For artistes, performing to a live audience may become more customized with the metaverse stepping into the picture. A musician or singer, for instance, could control lights and atmosphere as per the beats of the music or by using his voice. A low decibel would automatically bring on softer lights, while a loud pulsating music would bring in laser lights and colour pops, making the entire experience more immersive. Artistes like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and others will be performing in the metaverse, or at least their avatars would. You could even have these avatars perform exclusively for you and your loved ones on special occasions—a new take on personalised playlists and DJs. The audience would have the controls to change the stage props into whatever they like—Barbie world, tropic jungle or the galaxy. And with AI entering the picture, maybe artistes won’t be needed at all. Imagine having The Beatles belt out new songs in the future. The AI would be able to mimic their personal styles and curate new music.

Game On

As far as gaming is concerned, it will be a marriage between the metaverse and customisation. Users would be able to control the narrative. Let’s say on reaching a certain point in the game, you would want to explore a side story, something not originally a part of the game, the player would be able to do so and personalise the game and how it proceeds further. For instance, rather than saving the princess in Mario, you would want to sell the castle, the interface would allow you to mould the game accordingly.
The future won’t be anything; it’ll just be everything you want.

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