Avatar director James Cameron has spoken out against VR technology, saying he sees no real place for it beyond video games.
Cameron is a contentious figure, but his views on virtual reality tech mirror what many wondered when Facebook's acquisition of VR darling Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift headset, was announced.
"There seems to be a lot of excitement around something that, to me, is a yawn, frankly," said Cameron at a Wall Street Journal Conference panel.
"What will the level of interactivity with the user be other than just 'I can stand and look around'? If you want to move through a virtual reality it's called a video game, it's been around forever."
Here, of course, he speaks as a film-maker, which as a medium does not fit with VR as obviously as video games. Cameron also seemed to suggest that VR would be rather pointless until it gains mass-market appeal.
"The question that always occurred to me is, when is it going to be mature, when is it going to be accepted by the public at large, when are people going to start authoring in VR and what will that be?"
VR in film
The first film optimised for Oculus Rift has already been made, and the first part is available for download from the Oculus developer website.
However, it is really a VR retro-fitted project. A horror film called Banshee Chapter, it was originally filmed in 2D before having 3D added in post-production, and framed to allow 120 degrees of movement for the viewer.
While an interesting development, it does smack of the sort of films often used to demonstrate cinematic gimmicks such as 'eye-popping' 3D and Sensurround back in the 70s. VR's cinematic worth is still to be proven.
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