Virtual Reality at Ars Independent

Katowice’s festival of film, animation, video games and music videos: Ars Independent 2016, is coming soon! The event focuses on the latest trends of audiovisual culture, which is why once again it is preparing a trip through virtual realities.

Through 6 festival days (from September 27 to October 2), every VR enthusiast will find a couple of interesting spots in the Ars Independent programme. The technological partners of the enterprise are PCStore, VR Enter and Carbon Studio.

In one of four international competitions – the Black Horse of Video Games – we will play 6 games released in the years 2015 and 2016; among them, “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes” by the Canadian studio Steel Crate Games. Wearing VR goggles, separated from the world, we defuse a bomb with the help of our friends, who try to page through a printed, very complicated manual. Will you believe them when they tell you to cut the red wire? The game’s prototype was made for a 48 hour game jam, and now we can play the full release.

Additionally, we have a Polish “success story” in the competition: hundreds of thousands of dollars on Kickstarter, the most original approach to shooters in ages, rave reviews and a living fanbase and another project that began as a game jam prototype. Few haven’t heard of “SUPERHOT.” A shooter in which time moves when you do, injects dynamic chess into the FPS formula. Ars Independent will present its newest iteration, dedicated to VR. It’s worth mentioning that some members of SUPERHOT Team will join us at the festival.

The multimedia section The Horror will feature the interactive Horror House, where we will get scared by “Abe VR.” An experience based on the acclaimed short film, it restrains us in a chair and leaves us at the mercy of the titular Abe – a robot with unknown intentions. Virtual reality moves the goalposts of helplessness.

Apart from interactive experiments, we will watch a set of new music videos utilizing VR technology, allowing for full viewing in 360 degrees. They revitalize the medium and unravel new fields for audiovisual expression, intimately cutting the distance between audience and author.

“Last year at Ars, we showed you various pioneering teasers of VR. Today, finally, creators have a better grasp on the technology. We’re still at crawling phase, but this time it leaves us with an authentic WOW!” adds Bartek Sołtysik, the festival’s media spokesperson.