SXSW is taking Austin Texas by storm. The ten day festival celebrating film, music and digital culture just closed out it’s first weekend and among the highlights was the Game of Thrones presence at the interactive exhibits. Attendees were able to test out the latest in Oculus interactive gaming with ‘Ascend the Wall’, developed by Framestore. The London-based visual-effects company created a game that would take fans of the show into an immersive journey to world of the Night’s Watch on a platform using a visual rift that provides wearers a 360-degree field of vision of the world of Westeros. But you’ll have to hit the jump to check it out.
After entering booths modeled after the elevators, guests put on the Oculus Rift (Think headset with visor screens) and were outfitted with earphones to begin the experience of facing the Wildlings. The promise of this new tech gadget could change gaming as we know it to become more of a personalized experience. Guests who tested out this emerging technology noted how easy it was to feel as if the digital surroundings were really there. Even Game of Thrones actresses Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) and Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) took a turns at the game with Arya having a little panic attack.
Visitors waited hours around the booths to try the brief 4D journey to the North and also took part in other Game of Thrones exhibits like pics on the Iron Throne as well as prop and costume displays. The buzz the Oculus has built with it’s partnership with Game of Thrones could bode well for it to find a place among other gaming platforms. There is so much potential in enhancing popular games like Skyrim and like Gears of War by making them virtual reality.
The fourth season of Game of Thrones starts April 4th on HBO.