#614: Designing Around Disruptive Audience Members for Interactive Narratives

tommy-hontonTommy Honton is an experiential designer in the immersive theater space, and he’s helped to design interactive narratives that can handle a range of different disruptive responses that can ruin the experience for other people. One question for all interactive narrative designers is “How do you continue the flow of the narrative independent of different options that are provided?” For more sophisticated interactive narratives, then the question starts to become “How do you design a narrative or interactions that are resilient from people deliberately or indeliberately trying to sabotage the experience for themselves or others?”

Honton identified three different disruptive archetypes. The “troll” who is deliberately trying to break the experience for the sake of getting a reaction or discovering what happens at the edges of the rules. The “competitive gamer” who is trying to win, and isn’t afraid to disrupt other people’s experiences driven by a fear of missing out and a desire to experience everything. And then the “naive newbie” who accidentally leaks spoilers or has a passive and non-engaging reaction to prompts for participation. Honton identified these major disruptive archetypes, and he shared with me some strategies to handle each of these types of disruptions at the Immersive Design Summit.

As interactive narratives become more and more sophisticated, then actors or AI will need to be able to quickly identify the temperament of each audience member and have a strategy for how to best use a combination of body language, words, and the process of setting clear boundaries with real consequences in order to handle these types of disruptions and to prevent them from ruining other people’s experiences. For a lot of immersive theater actors, they’ve had to unconsciously learn these type if embodied body language skills, and they’re starting to be recruited into helping design interactive VR experiences. For example, Fable Studios’ Wolves in the Walls that premiered this week at Sundance used Then She Fellimmersive theater actors from Third Rail Productions to help design the main interactive character interactions as well as do the motion capture performance. Lessons from interactive immersive theater are already starting to flow into VR & AI experiences, and will continue to be on the bleeding edge of social and embodied interactions.


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Rough Transcript

[00:00:05.452] Kent Bye: The Voices of VR Podcast. Hello, my name is Kent Bye and welcome to the Voices of VR Podcast. So I was recently at the Immersive Design Summit where they had experiential designers from around the world, but they were primarily from the world of immersive theater. And in immersive theater, there's a lot of these different experiments that are happening. And they have live actors that are able to react to these different narrative structures. And so there's this opportunity for people who are watching it to stress test the system and trying to disrupt the experience, not only for themselves, but for everybody else. Tommy Houghton is an experiential designer who was trying to categorize the different ways that an experience could be interrupted and how to react to that. I had a chance to talk to him about his three major player archetypes of the troll, newbie, and competitive gamer, and things that they can do to disrupt the experience both for themselves and for other people, and what the appropriate response for each of those are. So that's what we're covering on today's episode of the Voices of VR podcast. So this interview with Tommy happened on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at the Immersive Design Summit in San Francisco, California. So with that, let's go ahead and dive right in.

[00:01:24.919] Tommy Honton: My name is Tommy Haunton, and I am originally a writer from Kansas, living in LA. I started by doing film writing, but I grew up with a fascination with theater, live-action performances, game design, all these things that seem like disparate elements that kind of were in the back of my head for a long time. And then when I was in LA, I was working at Disney for a number of years, and I experienced my first escape room, and around the same time I experienced the first piece of immersive theater I had seen, and my head just exploded. Looking back, they were not the most innovative or original, but they were the first I saw. And to a man dying of thirst, a drop of water from a dirty canteen is enough to get your head rolling. And so from there, I just began just running up to people being like, teach me. I want to learn from you. I want to do this, you know. From there, I just took the stuff I did when I was younger, building scavenger hunts for friends, just sending people on these weird journeys, whether it's through a narrative arc, you know, in a proscenium based play, or just retracing a personal relationship with someone through a puzzle or a game. I just began applying that in a bigger scale. And yeah, so now I guess you could say I do, I own an escape room, and I do a lot of experience and narrative consulting for especially immersive pieces.

[00:02:36.098] Kent Bye: Yeah, and one of the things that you were talking about yesterday is how you kind of categorize an audience member into one of three major different archetypes and that you kind of design the experience to be able to respond to each of those three. So maybe you could talk about those three archetypes and how you use those.

[00:02:53.097] Tommy Honton: Yeah, so it came up when I was brought on board to consult with a friend who does kind of a speed dating event. And we were thinking of all the ways that something could be ruined. And I realized that there are three major types of players that can ruin an experience for themselves or others. And they are more or less like the troll or the person that just wants to watch the world burn and kind of break the game on purpose for the sake of breaking it. The other end is having a person that's brand new who does not know what they're doing. And they can either go the trollish route unintentionally by going, it says I'm the killer. Oh, am I supposed to not read that? Or they just don't do anything at all. They just sit there and don't move. And you're like, come on, the story can't proceed until you stand up. And you're like, how do you make them stand up? And the last one is the super aggro. I want to win and see everything. the people that either have the FOMO or the sense that they have to prove to people they deserve to be there and they're good. And these are the fringes. Not every player is like that, but if you can basically insulate it where those players cannot ruin the experience for other people, and if you can make it especially powerful where they can't run it for themselves, then you have designed an experience that more or less has walls that no one can break through.

[00:04:03.203] Kent Bye: Yeah, it's sort of like a stress testing interactive storytelling and immersive experience where in a normal proscenium theater show, if it's linear, you don't really need the audience for the story to progress. But in these types of interactive experiences, you kind of need that participation and interaction. And so you're talking about either someone who's trying to deliberately just crash and burn the experience for the sake of getting a reaction out of people or a gamer type who's trying to sort of game the system and win. or somebody who's either naive or not intentionally not participating, but just because they're not expressing their agency enough, it's that lack of action that can also stall out a scene. And so, what are the responses to each of these three? Like, how do you defend against these attacks of people that are either not cooperating or trying to deliberately ruin an experience for themselves or others?

[00:04:51.489] Tommy Honton: It's really hard because a lot of things that people draw from, like video games, they have the luxury of having invisible walls that you can ruin the game for yourself, but like if you're playing a single player game, and I grew up on the games where a tutorial would tell you, go do this. And I'm like, well, if I don't, what happens? And either you can't progress in the game, which is, that's punishing you because you can't see the rest of it. Or it mocks you or teaches you like, yeah, I'm the game developer and I'm winking at you, which I loved. So I understand that some people who do want to do these things are just looking for a reaction. And so the ones that I like addressing the first are the trolls. The ones that are there trying to catch up a performer and say, you know, people that just love to pepper questions. So if it's a conversation and the person keeps interrupting, you have a narrative piece built in that either tells them to shut up in character or basically calls them on their crap by saying, oh, I see you've got a lot. Do you want to take over? And you challenge it. You put the burden back on them. And some people may insist on trying to break and keep going forward, and at that point you can just tell them to leave. So you have different layers of stress, where if someone needs to be reminded of the barriers, you can show it to them with a wink and a nudge that's in story and in character. And if they keep pushing, you can make the consequences more and more extreme. Of course there should always be a level at which if they do make the space dangerous or they make the performer feel uncomfortable or they ruin the experience physically for other people, you can have a way of removing them and at that point their experience is done. But that experience should still be done in a way that tries to minimize the output on other people. If you have a group of 30 people and one person is being a jackass, you don't want that person's removal to be something that interrupts the flow. So you can even tie that into story. So if you have an experience like a speakeasy, which is perfect because we're sitting in one room right now, you have a bouncer that's able to pull people out. And in character, as he's escorting the jackass out, you can have him make a quip or a comment. Or you can have that folded into the story. The other characters react and embrace it as if, oh, yeah, this kind of thing happens every night. Someone always takes too much. So that's probably the easiest one to embrace. The people that are new or don't know what they're doing, you have a pressure test that I call where anything that I design that allows this agency, if someone doesn't move or doesn't react to something that you want to see, you kind of let them hang for a second and see what they do. You put them in a scenario where someone comes up and then says, I need your help, you've got to do this with me and start walking away. And if they follow or they do something proactive, you know, okay, this player is starting to play along. But if they just freeze, if they don't know what to do, if they're, oh, are you an actor? Am I supposed to respond? You know, hold their hand a bit more and have a friend with them, have a guide. So that's an easy way to sort of see, how do they handle the experience? And if they're a little new, it's okay to guide them. And if they start to loosen up a bit, you know to pull back a bit. There are experiences I've had where we had people that love to solve puzzles that came for the game aspect, but were terrified of the agency. But over time, they began to realize, oh, I can do this. And they almost broke bad and became these really powerful people that pushed the actors aside and said, I got it from here, which is really exciting to see people kind of have their own arc in a journey. And the last one are the aggro players, which is kind of helping along the story, teaching them that there's no way to win. And by almost removing them from the game aspect, it kind of frustrates them, but making them realize that they are not in it to win it or see everything. And by almost deliberately trapping them in a space where they can't see something or do something, really frustrates them, but hopefully teaches a lesson. That is probably the one I have the hardest time designing for, is you can never remove an aggravated player in a way that satisfies them fully for every single model of player like that. And also giving them, if they want to win, letting them win. early on being like, Oh my God, congratulations, you found this thing that no one else finds. And so you pin a star on them, and they get to feel like they won something. So it's almost like an artificial victory that they don't know is artificial. But that's probably the hardest player to really satisfy because they're looking for something. And sometimes the thing you give them is not what they're looking for.

[00:08:39.788] Kent Bye: Yeah, and when I think about interactive stories, I kind of think of it on a spectrum of like on one extreme is authored narrative where there's basically no agency by the participants. And then on the other extreme, it's like completely generative and almost like no overall overarching drama manager, and it becomes more of a conversation or open world exploration. And, you know, the narrative aspects start to fade away. So as an interactive story designer, like what is the model or metaphors that you use to be able to actually kind of like create these modular beats or a whole arc of an experience and then be able to adapt it such that you can start to address each of these different player archetypes?

[00:09:19.532] Tommy Honton: I want to say that it's art that always wins, but realistically, a lot of the times we have rails built in because of the logistics of the space or the story that we have to tell. And so it's usually starting with those barriers and knowing where do we have to end up? If this story is part one and part two has to continue where part one ends, we have to make sure they can't go too far off the rails. Again, a video game has the luxury of when you're ink and paper or you're a screen in pixels, you have the ability to kill off a character and continue on a different journey. But with us, if you have to come on the night too and you've got to experience something, we have to find a way to artificially but realistically keep it why this character can't die or why they can't go fully off the rails. I think that's probably the part that really drives most of it is playing within the framework of, So we know we have to go to point A to B or they can go to point C or D but we always know it's got to go through this one singular linchpin moment that has to happen. So is there a way to make sure that feels organic regardless of choice and regardless of what we do? So typically the moments that I try to do that really get people on the rails and help keep these three different types in play usually involves more personal moments where if you ever got a character Is there a reason this character is going to start addressing you? And this character can do one of three things. This character can, okay, you're trying to break the game? I can wink at you. I can relate how I like to break things. I can ask you questions and turn it back on you. If you are the aggro player, I can be like, oh my god, no one's ever done this before. Here you go. So it's kind of giving them tools to deal with each types and it requires really working with the performers to make sure they're the ones that are insulated. So oftentimes it's helping keep the story unified by training the actors so they don't go off the rails. So the actors know and have the comfort level with the story, with the text, with the familiarity of just their characters, knowing here's how you would respond to all these three things. And so I really have to rely on really good performers. It's about trust, where hopefully the audience trusts us to really not feel like they've got to push us in a way that's like, is this thing going to break? It's like, it won't. Like, and you keep trying, you're going to ruin the experience for yourself. Like, just go with it. But also with the performer where we've worked with them and they know the character and we trust them to go forward and adapt as they see fit to get to the ending point.

[00:11:28.521] Kent Bye: Yeah, I really see that a lot of this interactive narratives that are happening within the context of immersive theater are really at the bleeding edge of what is possible with interactive narrative, especially when you have live actors that are able to respond and have like a physical space and have some sort of framework or architecture that allows you to kind of adapt to the interactivity. Once you start to code things, then you start to limit things. But I also see at the same time that the future of both gaming and virtual reality is going to be a lot more of this interactive narratives that are taking the lessons that are being proven out within immersive theater. So I'm curious from your perspective, what has been some of the most amazing interactive narrative experiences that you've seen in the context of immersive theater?

[00:12:12.350] Tommy Honton: Oh, interactive is a really tough thing for people to nail, because a lot of things that do say they're interactive tend to be what I call diet interactive, where you fill out a form and someone's like, hello, Tommy, I see you're afraid of being alone. And then that's interactive enough for them, where it's reading an intake form. And there's no other way that comes back. and it's more or less you get the same recycled dialogue. And to me, I think the true test of shows that I really like are going back a second night. And if it's the same thing that you've seen before, just with, you know, hello name here, I see you're afraid of X. So I love having those surprises of like, oh crap, I was able to help maneuver this. I haven't seen a lot of truly interactive pieces except for there is an escape room that utilizes actors in a really interesting way. I don't want to spoil it, but there's a company called The Basement in Los Angeles that surprised the hell out of me by having a performer that's basically the game master in the space, making sure things run smoothly, who's also part of a puzzle and the narrative, and I loved it because it's interactive. and it requires you to do something in a really compelling way where you can do it multiple ways and it's meant to make you vulnerable. It's a perfect puzzle and that moment is something I really strive for because the realization we realized what we had to do and the narrative elements of how they tied it into the characters costuming the decor and the performance of this person, who was able to go with the flow. Afterwards, I spent like half an hour talking to this guy, being like, this is brilliant. Because what's amazing is that as Escape Room designers, they brought him as a performer in, and he was an integral part of designing this aspect of it. And I found that truly riveting. I'm not spoiling it because I want people to go play it and experience it for themselves. But that's probably the one that really is like, oh, crap, this is possible. People can be part of these experiences.

[00:13:53.562] Kent Bye: Yeah, I think that's a tension and challenge with some of these immersive theater experiences is that, you know, the less you know, the better. So there's a risk of talking too much about it. But I know that there was some of the experiences that I think that either you were involved in helping design. Have those ended? And I'm curious to hear some of the lessons that you've learned from some of the experiences that you've been a part of creating without spoiling anything that may be on running.

[00:14:16.208] Tommy Honton: Yeah, so there's an escape from my own cold stash house with my business partner, Don, and we produced a series of prequels that were three chapters in the early life of the antagonist of the space. And you got to see his first night doing a drug deal. You got to see the time he chose to make a very upward movement in his organization. And you got to see a night when he first interacted with the cops. and you have this interesting sense of loyalty to this guy, and that's what I think most surprised us was. This person is a villain, but because of the way we programmed that he is your guide and ally, even though he's making you do horrible things, people had a fondness for him. And at the very last chapter, if you'd done all three, you basically had eight different endings that you could have unlocked. And people invariably went to the ending where they stayed by his side, even though different times he uses you and has basically told you to your face that he's going to use you. And people felt, I mean we had the benefit of having a very charming actor who embodied the hell out of this character and loved playing it because they got to play this character through three different nights that represent three different times this guy's life. but people found him so compelling and afterwards I would talk to him and say like this guy is a horrible person and he's used you and set you up and people like yeah but he's just so damn charming and so I think that's the thing is realizing that to really compel villainy and things it's all about a perspective and people felt this loyalty to this guy so we'll be remounting that and I think we're going to play with that because every single person's played likes this character And I realized, OK, so we can do a final chapter where you get to see him in a light that does make you question your enjoyment and loyalty to this guy. And you get to choose still at that moment whether you betray him or stay with him with consequences. So I like playing with the idea of challenging people's perceptions of a character they already like. And that was probably the most surprising. Another thing is that people are surprised when they have full agency. And I like those moments. And I deliberately like putting in those moments where we have one moment in the first chapter, and this piece is called Street Baptism. The first chapter is you go to meet this crazy Russian man who has memory issues. He flies off the handle, he's super dangerous, and their actor was perfect at capturing this manic Depressed man who used to be in the mafia but had to leave because of his memory issues. And so this guy's lonely and wants action and wants this piece of this world he's missing, and you're the first guest he's seen in a long time. And he offers you a shot of vodka, and it's real vodka. And when people take a sip of that, they realize, oh. This isn't water, this isn't us pretending. And he pulls out of the fridge this giant feast of pickled herring in mayonnaise, which is a real thing they eat. And we got all authentic Russian dishes, and this guy's really Russian, and he's giving you the stuff on this table. And the looks on people's faces as this was being pulled out, and they were given real vodka, was like, what have we gotten ourselves into? And those moments are so powerful. So programming those things early on where people, they come to a space and they think, oh, this is probably just water. Wow, this is real. And then at the same time, I think making them do things that make them question like, how is this going to work? Because at one point you have to poison him. And he can't see. If he sees, you're going to get in trouble. And you have to pull it off. And then if we poison him, he reacts. And people are wondering, how did you pull that off? Is it cameras? Is it earpieces? And I love that sense of wonder, where as they're doing it, they're wondering. You never can fully, for some game players, get that game playing idea out of their head. And they're like, how in the mechanics is this going to work? And we pull it off. I love that. So those are the things I think seeing people respond to those just reinforce the fact that I love building those moments in.

[00:17:45.618] Kent Bye: Yeah, and for you, what do you personally want to experience within an immersive experience?

[00:17:51.583] Tommy Honton: I love being surprised in so many different ways. I think plot twists are a good way of saying, like, next-level plot twist. Finding out who the killer is in a story, but being able to extrapolate that bigger, where one of my favorite pieces of theater I've ever seen was a proscenium-based show that the set design was part of the surprise. I've seen two pieces like that. One was a staging of 1984 that blew my mind. Another one was a very forgettable sci-fi kind of story, where the real star of the piece was the set. And reveals like that, where you don't know reveals coming, where the stage is actually a different kind of setting, or the fact that people that you think are actors around you are actually performers, or guests as well. Like, being able to surprise you. And that's what I think I want escape rooms to start doing more of. Because they're part of this continuum, but they seem to have walled themselves off in this space where you have a formula to follow. And I don't want this entertainment field to go the route of laser tag and mini golf, where it feels like a safe activity. Not safe in the sense of you're not going to die, but safe in the sense that you know what to expect. I love having expectations shattered. And so trying to predict what can do that, I don't even want to engage in because I love having that.

[00:18:57.132] Kent Bye: Yeah. And what do you think some of the biggest open questions are in this field of immersive theater that are kind of either driving your work forward or that as a community that are trying to be asked and answered?

[00:19:08.756] Tommy Honton: I think accessibility is a big part. I think the idea of, is it okay to produce pieces that are accessible for people? I know a lot of heaviness is in the air politically, but for whatever reason, a lot of pieces tend to lend themselves to being very dark and very heady. And it's interesting when I talk to people what I do, you know, I work with at-risk youth in LA. And I can't imagine many of them being able to go and feel like they have the vocabulary or the language to experience a show like Sleep No More or, you know, that it's considered a very accessible show. I think removing this ivory tower sense of art and allowing people to go to easily accessible shows, both in terms of content and in terms of budget, I know price tag is a big issue. And at the end of the day, why are people producing? If you have the same hundred people going to see every single show you make, it's tough to really expand out the audience and convey the things that you want to convey. So I want to see people being able to make things more accessible. So I love it that Punch Drunk and all these established companies are trying to do an educational outreach, trying to educate people about the arts and make people feel that you can go and see a show and not like it or have opinions about it. And those are valid just as much as the next person's. So yeah, those are the two things I'm really trying to push with my pieces. Anything we do, I like having the ability for, not scholarships, but discounted tickets or educational groups coming through, being able to see it without having to worry about paying for this price tag. And that's something I know all artists struggle with, is being able to fund it. But I would love to see that become a bigger issue, which is, how do we get it where as many people as possible can see our work, and they will walk away wanting to talk about it and maybe work it to their own?

[00:20:52.332] Kent Bye: Great. And finally, what do you think is kind of the ultimate potential of immersive experiences and what they might be able to enable?

[00:21:01.410] Tommy Honton: I think why people respond to them and why I've seen so much excitement from people after they first do an experience like this. It's like a veil being lifted. I mean, you know, you can go on forever about primal instincts and how people were, but we're programmed to be these nomadic tribes of social animals. And the real world, we don't do that. We work in cubicles and we sit in cars and you are around people professionally you're not supposed to really be yourself with. They're not your tribe mates. and the people we care about that are our tribates, we don't see very often. Our friends and our family in most realistic work settings and life settings, you don't see that. So the chance to really put a screen down and these sort of flat, shallow social interactions and being able to have a connection with a group of people, whether it's an escapement going on an adventure and solving a puzzle or a group, achieving something together, or it's going through a narrative and having the sense of an arc that's happening around you. There's something really magical about being able to hit these primal notes that make us feel something. You know, I call it being a drug dealer. We are drug dealers. We are creating these experiences that hit on dopamine and adrenaline and the sense of belonging, these primal needs that we have. And in this day and age, when we don't have those connections as often as possible, I think there's a real starvation and thirst for this stuff. And I think it's only going to grow as long as it's accessible. You're going to see people craving this as it becomes more accessible as these bigger companies get on board to producing experience like this. I see a world of potential for what this could be. You have, you know, Star Wars, Galaxy's Edge is going to be the largest piece of immersive theater the planet's ever seen. And so as these giant companies invest, I'm hopeful that it increases the audience for the smaller R&D labs that are people doing things in their garages and in weird buildings and in abandoned spaces. So that's my hope, is that people feel this thirst and hunger and they want to experience it in all forms. And it just makes the opportunities grow for what people are able to do.

[00:22:46.709] Kent Bye: Awesome. Is there anything else that's left unsaid that you'd like to say?

[00:22:50.451] Tommy Honton: I think that's it. I'm excited to be part of this community and be both a creator in the space, but also a purveyor and a curator and a friend, colleague, but most importantly, as a consumer. Because I love going on these experiences, and I create the experiences I want, but I love going on experiences. And so as long as I can help the ecosystem thrive so I can keep going on them, I'm excited.

[00:23:15.365] Kent Bye: Awesome. Well, Tommy, thank you so much for joining me today. Thank you so much. So that was Tommy Houghton. He's an experiential designer and has an escape room called Stash House. So I have a number of different takeaways about this interview is that first of all I was really fascinated to hear the three major player archetypes that can kind of disrupt an immersive and interactive experience both for themselves but for the entire group and they come into those three categories. Number one is the troll who is trying to just break the experience for the sake of breaking it but also to try to get reactions out of different people they may be interrupting and the actors have to find many different creative ways to stay in character and to have people shut up or to call them on their crap and to be able to put them on the spot and to actually give them more agency than they're expected and then see what they do with it. And that there's also consequences for disrupting and that you have different ways of kind of amping it up to the point where eventually you may have to throw people out and maybe needing a bouncer within the context of the experience to be able to actually do that. The other extreme is the newbie who just doesn't know the rules and is very reserved in terms of expressing their agency. If you have a scene and they choose not to do anything at all, then how do you progress the story and what is the thing that's actually going to push things forward if you don't get any input from them, or if the input that you get is breaking the rules that have been set forth? just finding ways to be able to guide and hold people's hands and to be able to give different pressure tests to kind of see where people are at on this scale of how willing they are to be involved in Express Your Agency and finding other ways to progress the story or to allow them to make the decision to participate because you can't actually force people to do things that they don't really consent to. And finally, the one that's the most difficult is kind of the aggro-competitive gamer type who is trying to just win and to see everything. What Tommy says is that you just have to convince them that there is no way to win, there is no winning, and that you try to remove the game aspect, or that you try to put them in a box that actually traps their agency in a way, and so their punishment is that they can't actually go out and fully express their agency. And so this is the one that is the most difficult. Tommy says you can never really remove an aggregated player in a way that is, you know, satisfying for everybody. And so, you know, there may be other strategies as well as to, you know, give them a false sense of winning such that, you know, you pin a star on them saying that, you know, great job for achieving something that no one else was able to do. So overall, in the immersive theater scene, he sees the level of interactivity as kind of like a diet level of interactivity. It doesn't really afford people to get fully into the role playing and full expression of agency. And so there's a lot less of this LARPing and live action role playing. I think that's really embedded within the experiences. But I think as we move forward, there's going to be a lot more of that. And when you look at the digitally mediated versions of this, there's going to be all sorts of different ways of doing narrative design where you're trying to incorporate all these different aspects. And as we come into different interactive narratives with AI, then just maintain this sense of plausibility because people are going to want to stress test the experience and that if you can always have a reaction to something, then it'll just build the level of immersion for people and That's the thing that it's like probably the most difficult thing to do. And in talking to other actors who were in immersive theater experiences, they said they had been in over 900 different productions and that in every single production, there was something that they had never seen before. And so it's probably literally quite impossible to like plan for every single possible thing, but at least you can have different categories of reactions for things. And that there's nothing that's going to ultimately be having another live actor there to be able to, you know, use their consciousness and their wits and their improv ability to be able to read a situation and be able to give an appropriate response. And then finally, I really loved what Tommy was saying about, you know, immersive theater, being this process of lifting the veil of tapping us into these deeper aspects of ourselves that we come from being these nomadic people, we're interacting with other people, and that We have these layers of shallow interactions in our world today and that these immersive theater experiences, whether they're escape rooms or just these more open world immersive theater performances, that allows us to be able to either work together to solve a common goal or to be in a context of a shared narrative that is allowing us to give us this deeper sense of belonging. And that's ultimately what we're all trying to achieve. And that, you know, as we move forward, we'll just see this, you know, trend of much more immersive and interactive types of experiences and that Disneyland is going to be opening up this huge immersive theater experience called Star Wars Galaxy Edge, where there is so much more of this live action role play and playing with different ways of giving people an opportunity to embody these different characters. And that, you know, he wants to see this continue because he loves consuming it and he loves to be surprised and to have his expectations shattered. And that he doesn't want to see immersive theater turn into something safe, but that there's going to be like this inherent risk that they're going to experience something that you've never quite experienced before. And that's what's both very exciting, but also very terrifying, because there's always going to be that edge of what's safe and what is, you know, kind of going too far. But it's that risk of surprise and novelty that I think a lot of people that are having these immersive theater experiences that they actually want to have. So that's all that I have for today. And I just wanted to thank you for listening to the Voices of VR podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, then please do spread the word, tell your friends and consider becoming a donor. This is a listener supported podcast. And so I do rely upon your gracious donations in order to continue to bring you this coverage. So you can become a member and donate today at patreon.com slash Voices of VR. Thanks for listening.

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