VRrOOm is going to host the world’s first XR Let’s Play Festival on the VRrOOm XR app from December 18 through January 18.
VRrOOm’s XR app is dedicated to showcasing artistic and narrative VR and AR works. Typically, the app features official selections from film festivals; however, the Let’s Play Festival will focus on let’s play, which is commonly linked to gaming.
Louis Cacciuttolo, VRrOOm’s CEO, provided details about this new initiative:
Q: How is let’s play related to storytelling?
LC: First, I’d like to highlight the distinction between let’s plays and gameplays. A gameplay is a clip of just a part of the game being played; while a let’s play is typically a live stream or a video recording of the player playing the game.
The rise of YouTube stars or Twitch streamers shows that more and more people are watching others play games. Some of the videos get hundreds of millions of views, which is even more than some of the top-selling cinema blockbusters. These players are the storytellers of the future.
When you take a closer look at the let’s play videos, it is obvious that every component of a narrative construction is present—the creators have a distinctive tone and manner, they express their own point of view in the game, and they are staging the plot. These players combine the roles of director, producer, and actor—most times even playing the role of the ‘hero’—at the same time.
The let’s play creators are capable of gathering a massive audience of gamers and non-gamers alike, who are watching their videos simply because they tell great stories when playing a game. Their public is immersed in a familiar environment of which they know all the codes—similar to when a filmmaker is making a movie about love or Cinderella, about war or the soldier Ryan—the audience already knows the characters and symbols and they can relate to the story.
I believe that if you’re able to tell a powerful story and keep your audience engaged—no matter which media you use and what your plot is about—you are a storyteller. The sheer number of let’s plays viewers is proof, if needed, that there is a large audience for this kind of stories, and that there are great storytellers catering to their needs.
Q: Why is VRrOOm launching the Let’s Play Festival?
LC: VRrOOm is dedicated to democratizing access to quality VR/AR content and there is currently a critical lack of stories for mass audiences. Beyond being a news curation and event platform, I consider VRrOOm as a market builder. It’s just as important for us to provide XR blockbusters to our audience as it is for us to promote the edgy narrative content that comes from film festivals, because the blockbusters will help grow the market.
I searched for VR let’s play festivals to partner with and bring to VRrOOm’s platform; but, as of today, there are no such events. Then, I searched for 360 videos of VR gameplays and let’s plays; I discovered they are extremely rare due to technical constraints.
I came to the conclusion, that for once, we will do things the other way around: instead of partnering with existing physical festivals and events, we are launching our own XR Let’s Play Festival—the first of its kind—to be hosted on the VRrOOm app.
I want VRrOOm to be the pioneer in promoting and supporting this new form of narrative. I see this first edition of the festival as a prototype, a sort of soft launch that leads to a much bigger event the following year that includes a physical event, likely in Paris or Los Angeles.
VRrOOm welcomes gamers and content creators to use our platform to present their unique point of view and bring forward the best in gaming narration.
Q: Why is this event launching in December?
LC: December is the best time of the year to run a let’s play festival because many game studios launch new releases for the holiday season. The first VRrOOm XR Let’s Play Festival will showcase a limited number of creations; but going forward, it’s my hope that this proof of concept will convince studios and gamers alike to allocate resources and time to create unique works based on their IPs.
The first VRrOOm XR Let’s Play Festival will take place on the VRrOOm XR app from December 18, 2018 through January 18, 2019. To download the app, click the links below: