Fans of The Hunger Games saga will find out the fate of Jennifer Lawrence’s character, Katniss Everdeen, when the final movie releases on November 20th. However, some will be able to experience the movie and book franchise in a more interactive way.
Earlier this month, Samsung unveiled its the Hunger Games Virtual Reality Experience in New York, introducing a few lucky fans to a special VR program that put them right into the troubled fantasy world. The demo featured a number of events, including the ability to join Katniss’ rebel army and hunker down into District 13, or simply paying a visit to the Capitol Gardens with President Snow before the arrows start flying.
Colin McGreal, designer and ReelFX director for the experience, talked about how the effort was worthwhile when it came to creating it for die-hard fans. “The CG and VR artists we worked with are used to working in video games but like this more,” he said. “They’re like, ‘This is great! We want to keep pushing the envelope.’ Instead of a game where you run around shooting people, we’re trying to give a cultural and emotional experience.”
The demo, which lasts around six minutes, presents a number of events that show the transformation of Katniss from the Capitol’s selection in The Hunger Games to the Districts’ leading heroine, the Mockingjay. It immerses users into a world where they can experience every major event from the demolishing of Panem to the final showdown with President Snow.
Those who want to try the demo out for themselves can do so at various Best Buy locations, which will be hosting it as part of a presentation for Samsung Gear VR devices.
This isn’t the first time that a movie studio has worked with a virtual reality presentation to deepen the experience. Several San Diego Comic-Con demos in the past revolved around popular films like Pacific Rim and Into the Storm. More recently, Paramount announced a special promotion with AMC Theaters featuring a demo for a forthcoming game based on its Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, which hits theaters tomorrow.