We were nonchalantly browsing the State Rooms of Buckingham Palace yesterday — well, a virtual reality Buckingham Palace anyway.
VRUK is a virtual reality showcase currently in North Greenwich and a couple of London-centric projects there caught our eye, particularly this one:
Wander the corridors of Buckingham Palace
Brenda's pad is only open to the public for a couple of months in the year but a new experience created by the Royal Collection Trust means kids can now have a snoop about from the comfort of their desks. Last month this immersive tour of the State Rooms was released by the trust, in cahoots with Google. As learning manager for the Royal Collection Trust Will Graham explained in a talk yesterday, the tour is specifically designed for schoolkids, with Google Cardboard goggles now doing the rounds across the country. The teacher 'controls' the class by pointing to various locations and artifacts, and reading out notes.
For those of us no longer at school, there's this 360-degree tour (best viewed with Google Cardboard):
We hope setups like Historical Palaces cotton onto this and do something similar with the likes of the Tower of London and Hampton Court.
Are virtual pubs the future?
And now for something completely different. You're a self-obsessed CEO of a start-up. You're in a London pub. You're on a date. And then, suddenly, you disappear up your own backside. That's the premise of a Virtual Reality short comedy by Rubber Republic and Play Nicely. The Man Who Disappeared Up His Own Arse will be shot in a north London pub (the production team are currently considering three) and they're also considering filming in tunnels beneath London Bridge.
Director of Rubber Republic, Matt Golding, explained to us that although there are plenty of zombie and action virtual reality experiences where you make choices, comedy hasn't had much of a look-in. The film will put you in the shoes of the hapless hero, and make you the butt of the jokes — a nice twist on laughing at a character's misfortune.
Obviously, a lot of the action of The Man Who Disappeared Up His Own Arse will happen away from the pub. But this virtual reality boozer thing has got us thinking... wouldn't that be a great way of seeing whether or not a pub is worth visiting, before actually going there? Or just popping in for a quick virtual pint at lunch?