“Wave your hands in the air like you…wanna avoid an asteroid,” will be U.K. cinemagoers battlecry over the next few weeks. Before the feature film starts, Vue patrons will be able to play a gesture-controlled 3-D interactive computer game.
It’s being dubbed the world’s first in-cinema interactive 3-D video game by its sponsoring company O2. The system hooks up to the theater’s 3-D digital projector and combines input from two cameras that overlook the crowd. The aim of the game is to save the Starship O2 from a cloud of pesky asteroids–sound familiar?–and control is effected by having the crowd wave their arms to steer the ship. Because it’s 3-D, the audience will also get to experience the fleeting asteroids flying toward them.
Kind of like a giant Project Natal meets Wii-style family entertainment, the 3-D effect is novel but also has a startling implication. In the asteroids game, the 3-D graphics are limited by the sophistication of the computer system, and won’t compare to the CGI movies following them. But that’s only with current levels of technology–does this system indicate that one day we may be playing crowd-participation gesture-based movies, rather than games? The effects are hitting 20 Vue cinemas across the U.K., and will roll before screenings of Ice Age 3-D and Toy Story 3-D starting from July 10.
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