I had the fortune of not having to go into work on time today. There really is nothing like that feeling, is there? Well, I guess if you didn’t have to go to work at all but I digress. I was able to sleep in a little later than usual, not by much, but a little. The Adorable Creature still had to follow her regularly scheduled routine and I found it difficult to fall back to sleep afterward. I got a couple of extra broken hours of sleep before she left so it wasn’t all a bust, but it did get me out of bed which prevented me from wasting the day. Not like that was possible considering there was laundry to be done, and you all know how I am with my t-shirts.
Before laundry, though it was off to the gym to get my daily work out in (#humblebrag), and it was while I was sweating my face off on the elliptical that I had this epiphany. This idea that is sooooooooo good I was actually stunned into disappointment that it doesn’t yet exist.
Here I am on the elliptical listening to the Bill Simmons Podcast as they discuss the Ringer’s list of the best hundred episodes of television in the 21st century. If you haven’t had a chance to read this list Geeklings, do it (just click here as a matter of fact)! This thing is intense! I can’t imagine the amount of man (and woman) hours put into creating this thing. With that being said, I had some major issues with the list (to the point where I might be writing up a response column) and Simmons hasn’t been shy about his discrepancies either. This episode of the podcast was used to break down the list and explain some of the choices, and it was great. I still disagree with a lot of the choices but I walked away with a better understanding as the whys… maybe. In a few cases anyway.
This is all besides the point. In the midst of listening and sweating, I believe Simmons was talking about 24 and half-baked ideas, I had this idea. How amazing would it be if there existed a VR program where you could live a show. You would zoom yourself in and instead of picking a game you would pick your favorite show, say like Breaking Bad or LOST or The Sopranos or even The Golden Girls. You would select your favorite character and episode and boom! Now you’re watching and participating making the television experience super immersive.
Now, how would this work exactly? I’m not entirely sure as I’m clearly trying to work out my million dollar idea, but I don’t think you could change the course of the show. Especially when it comes to older programs you can’t film new material just for this VR experience. You want this to be a game but you also want to use it as a way for the audience to better understand the characters and the story they’re watching. I think the way to go about this is memorization. If you read Ready Player One then you know there is a part in the book where characters need to re-enact movies as a challenge. They have to get all the dialogue and actions correct in order to “win the game”, and I always thought that was a pretty neat idea. Difficult as hell, but neat none the less.
I don’t think you need to go that extreme for this VR experience but it could have difficulty settings. A setting where you’re doing the bare minimum (making the same choices as the character or choosing the right dialogue from an option menu) all the way to a setting where you have to do everything precisely as it aired. How freakin’ cool would that be? Suddenly you’re not just watching those shows but you’re apart of them. You can hang up your VR set and need to shake off what it was like to be Walter White or Tony Soprano. You could spend hours singing Phoebe’s songs from Friends. You could pour yourself a drink after an especially difficult surgery in ER. The possibilities are damn near endless.
It was at this point that I started wondering, why isn’t this a thing? With the way that VR and television are moving one would think that something like this exists out there. Who knows, maybe there is a studio right now developing an entire season as a choose your own adventure VR experience. It could be revolutionary and I’d watch the hell out of it!
What do you think Geeklings? Would you participate in a VR program that allowed you to live your favorite shows? What would be your top choice of show to dive into? Do you think this is in our future? Sound off in the comments. If you’d like to further this conversation then you can find me on the Twitter @iamgeek32. Oh, if anyone knows of a program where this is already a thing don’t keep me on the outside. Hook a brother up!