ByMark Capehart, writer at
An academic lover of all things horror and folklore posting my thoughts and observations
Mark Capehart

Okay first lets get one thing taken care of. What exactly do I mean by Immersive Entertainment.

Should I define both terms individually? Or use visual clues like this.....

He's immersed, too literal? You're probably right.
He's immersed, too literal? You're probably right.

Well, what I am aiming at is where the experience is so complete that it takes over ones whole perception. And I do not just mean just really getting into a movie. No, no no! I mean where the media itself takes over the senses and everywhere you look there is the horror experience. At Scare LA I got to see the up and coming experiences that will soon be available to a (?) near you.

As we look into the future lets start with what you have all been waiting for. HISTORY!!!!

People have been trying to enhance the experience of entertainment since...well....forever.

In the days of live theater there were special effects, fog, sound shadow, light and all things to make people feel the life of the story.

When movies came to play there was sound,even when the films were silent. Silent films were augmented with music and sound FX making it a multi-sensory experience.

Once you got sound in movies people tried all things to make the experience even bigger. William Castle was the king of this with his many stunts.

Now this is quality entertainment!
Now this is quality entertainment!

and of course we all know 3D which has been tried several times and has never quite worked out.

But now lets see what is going on now. Scare LA had experiences for all persons of all tastes and ages. Lets take a look at what was there.

The big craze right now seems to be the escape room. We have seen the shows and the viral videos but people right now seem to be looking to find new angles on this.

spooky lookin, aint it?
spooky lookin, aint it?

Some you work as a team. Others you are on your own. some make themselves seem very cryptic. I am expecting an "antidote email" (?) any time now. I have no idea what i signed up for but, ya know, what the heck!

All of these add elements to make the world complete and expand the experience even beyond the room you are trapped in. Only thing you can do more extreme is trap you in a zoom with zombies. Which they actually did at the convention.

Speaking of zombies, how bout that segue, they are all over the place.....still!

you've got your, rapidly becoming, traditional zombie run.

But there are also more immersive challenges. On the floor of the the convention you had your game of zombie tag as participants avoided the walking dead and try to make it to infirmary sites around the booths to try and survive.

Is this a variation on the ARG (alternative reality gaming.....LOOK IT UP!!!!) or something that will become required at every con of all types? The possibilities are all over the place.

Now lets say that minimum wage jump actually went to useful things and you don't want to spend the day in another world and have to experience the fun at home. Well have no fear? The gaming world is moving on with your dollars and sanity in mind.

Do we all remember the first time you got scared by a video game? First red face for me...okay earlier than that when the zombie turns its head around and those puppies are so annoying! (If you got the Resident Evil reference without the help of the picture give yourself 5 points!)

Now you can go even further. People are pulling you into the world of virtual reality and bringing more and more things into that world with you. Too many possibilities to mention. Here is something kinda cool, how bout a game that monitors your vitals, not your avatars....YOURS, and increases the difficulty with how stressed you get. Just the thing my doctor recommended.

People are making apps that pull ghosts out of posters and project monsters onto your wall.

More about that in another post.

So what is the new thing. Well, something else you can take from this event is that everything old is new again.

Catching my eye on the floor was the number of thespian type adventures one can get into and the basic love of old style entertainment. From dolls to puppets (okay, really elaborate puppets),

to sheet music, one can find all the comforts of home if home is in the 1800s. Theater and live performance remain a big thing and that is very welcome. There are even operas being promoted at this event! Of course, if you look at the plot of most operas they are pretty dang horrific to begin with. Some people are even combining two of the most familiar immersive entertainments together, Haunted house attractions and REN FAIRS!!!

If this can happen then who knows where things will go.

Well that is all for this subject...for now. Going to a couple more horror fests coming up so this may be totally out of date by then. All I can say is...I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

Next up a look at an aspect very misunderstood and misinterpreted by mainstream media - Gender and race in the geek world! "Boys toys"...really people!

Talk to yall again in a bit.


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