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‘The Martian VR Experience’ lets you be in the driving seat on Mars as Mark Watney


It will take humans at least a decade to reach Mars and while everyone of us won’t be able to go there physically, Twentieth Century Fox has made arrangements that you can visit the Red Planet virtually as an astronaut.

‘The Martian VR Experience’ directed by Robert Stromberg is an attempt of the Hollywood studio to get you into the driving seat on Mars as astronaut Mark Watney and do what he did in the movie ‘The Martian’ – drive a rover, collect potatoes, fix solar panels, and a lot more. Releasing on November 15 in Canada, the ‘The Martian VR Experience’ is currently limited to PlayStation VR, but chances are that it might get launched for other platforms.

Stromberg started off the whole thing with a three-minute mobile trailer and the idea clicked right away and with backing from Twentieth Century Fox and experts in the field, the three minute trailer was transformed into a full 25-minute compilation of scenes, like chapters in a book.

As participants you will be walking the walk and doing the deeds as Watney and will be performing the role of an observer as well at time. You will be charged with tasks like throwing potatoes into a bucket, lifting solar panels onto a rover using a crane. Then at times, the experience will take you through a narrative that would weave the sequences together giving users a traditional viewing experience as well.

Stromberg explains that the world is just scratching the surface of how Hollywood and VR will revolutionize entertainment by exploring innovative ways to develop immersive experiences as a new storytelling medium. “The Martian VR Experience” represents a new high in the technology, but it is not the highest. As the technology continues to evolve there will be new forms of drama that builds on that and is even more powerful. The Martian VR Experience is for $27.

“This moment feels very much like the beginning of film. In particular, this intensely different way of experiencing content reminds me of the cinematic lore of the “train effect”: In the early days of cinema, a train on the screen approached the audience, and – alarmed by how realistic the imagery appeared – the moviegoers panicked and ran out of the theater,” said Stromberg.

If you don’t have the PlayStation VR and still want an app that offers something about Mars – Download “Save the Mars” on Android.