What Makes Immersive Experiences We Love Work

What Makes Immersive Experiences We Love Work

Image: io9/Gizmodo

Niche interactive activations are now more mainstream than ever before—and the result is an uphill battle of art vs. profit. Things don’t always work out in the long run, as seen with Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, but still create some of the most incredible forms of art you’ll ever be able to experience and be a part of.

Immersive theater is not just a buzzword or Band-Aid to stick on a failed experiment in a field that’s existed as performance art for generations, and that has, for over 10 years, been attempted to be cracked by independent creators, genre lovers in the horror theater space, and major IP holders like Blumhouse and Disney. They more often than not come and go, but having been able to get in on the wave makes them hallmarks of the art form in the discourse of what works and doesn’t.

For the most part, the majority of immersive entertainment thrives during spooky season, perhaps because it’s more sustainable during seasonal runs when horror themed events are sought after to celebrate Halloween. By its very nature it lends itself to audiences wanting the next best thing in being scared through the visceral communal opportunity that levels up from jump scare haunts. That and the rest of the year may not attract as many folks and prove to be why all-year events just aren’t financially feasible to be lucrative, though there’s hope with Meow Wolf’s presence on the scene. Leaving out escape rooms, jump-scare haunted houses, social media content inspired pop-up walk-throughs, and VR—here are the most remarkable runs past and present of immersive theater.

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