Comic-Con, the annual event in San Diego where fans from all over come to show their appreciation for their favorite comics, characters, and entertainment platforms, has decided to set aside relying on technology this year to entertain their attendants and instead rely on old fashioned human interaction instead.
When visitors attended Comic-Con this year they were greeted by “John” who was playing the host for the event’s imitation of Westworld, for those of you who have never heard of it, Westworld is a show that centers around Wild West, Medieval, and Roman theme parks where visitors are able to interact with mechanical androids that look surprisingly human-like, however, the show takes a turn for the worse when the androids begin to malfunction and kill all of the visitors. Comic-Con decided this year to recreate the theme park in the show and have their employees act as androids, John greeted visitors in a pseudo Delos Destination (Delos is the corporation in the show that created the robot theme parks) would ask the visitors what kind of experience they were looking for during their stay in Westworld, and which of the weapons laid out in the display case were most interested in the most. The visitors were also asked in they could identify the song being played on the piano (which happened to be Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” which was originally featured in the show) but what made the entire experience surreal was the improve from John himself he
The visitors were also asked if they could identify the song being played on the piano (which happened to be Soundgarden’s “Black Hole Sun,” which was originally featured in the show) but what made the entire experience the most surreal was the improve from John himself, as he engaged in small talk with the visitors and portrayed himself perfectly as an android. According to Behnam Karbassi, the CEO and founder of No Mimes Media, the performance of live performance of the employees is a vital part of making the whole experience believable, Karbassi had about 20 to 30 live actors working in shifts, playing characters from sheriff androids to bank employees and stating that the most important thing for the actors is their ability to think on their feet and improve. “Nothing beats human interaction. Though tech is often used to augment an experience or collect data, actors bring to life. The number, size, and source of immersive experiences has varied – starting with films and studios, then moving to advertisers and sponsors. The trend now is leaning towards TV and networks.”
Karbassi has been working on activations at Comic-Con for over 10 years, for different companies such as Fox, Cisco, and Google. Other movies were brought to life through real world interaction such as “Blade Runner” where actors were brought in actors to play Angelenos living in 2049 and bringing the experience to life through the use of virtual reality. There were a few drawbacks when bringing these movies to life but overall the experiences received positive reviews and hopefully when we reach a point in the future where androids are created Karbassi and Comic-Con will be able to fully replicate the famous movies.
Featured Image Flickr/Gage Skidmore