Thy Father's Spirit (VR Media Review)


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc88G7nkV-Q&t=3s

Exposition: I personally do not own a VR headset, but my brother owns an Oculus Quest 2. When I visited him a little while ago, he convinced me to try out some of his games, and they were Awesome. When I went back to see him this most recent time, I had found some 360 videos that I wanted to watch using his headset. This one really blew me away.


The Story: So this video is not the entire play of Hamlet, but it is an amalgamation of excerpts from scenes throughout the play that does a pretty good job of giving you the story (although it does work best if you already know the full story of Hamlet). Through VR, you are given the ability to nearly have a role in the play yourself, as you stand-in in the place of the ghost of Hamlet's father (you can even see "your" reflection in mirrors!). You get to be up close and personal with the actors, standing in the midst of the action, and at times the intimacy this lends is breath-taking.


Thoughts:

  • I did have to stop halfway through because I had become rather motion-sick due to some of the transitions they used when changing camera positions. If you, like me, can get motion-sick from playing video games or watching movies in a theater, then just be aware when going into this.

  • I didn't feel like standing for an hour (or even half an hour), so I sat down, but still had the perspective of standing. Not necessarily good or bad, just interesting. But it did kinda reinforce the ghost idea, as I felt a bit like I was hovering!

  • STORY SPOILERS TO FOLLOW! ⬇

  • This production made it feel that Hamlet and the Queen were aware of the King's poison drink trick and the Queen committed suicide? Possibly to protect Hamlet?

  • Watching Hamlet's death at the end was eery. As the ghost of his father, you stand close by, and as Hamlet dies he sees his father and so stares into your very soul as he breathes his last. That had a rather forceful impact for me.


Final Review: 4 out of 5 stars. If you're into Shakespeare and have access to a VR set, definitely give this a go!

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