As the name suggests individual audience members don virtual reality headsets and immerse themselves in a documentary narrated by David Attenborough. These are the first natural history documentaries designed for virtual reality. There are two journeys:
First Life Experience
Travel back 500 million years as the iconic narrator introduces you to Earth’s earliest inhabitants, as you explore ancient oceans and interact with extinct sea creatures.
Great Barrier Reef Dive Experience
Real-world footage takes you on a virtual reality journey deep beneath the waves, with Attenborough as your personal guide through the reef’s colourful corals, darting fish and deadly sharks.
While they both sound good, the Barrier Reef experience probably sounded more exotic in London than it does in Sydney. In many ways though just seeing this in action would be as interesting as the content. I’ve played with virtual reality, but never sat in a room with 60 people experiencing the same virtual space.
By all accounts the experience is far more involving than a 3D screening – which makes sense. This really must be the future for museums, and classrooms, if not lounge-rooms. The ability to not just talk about Mars but feel like you’re on the planet surface, or really feel like you’re walking amongst dinosaurs is invaluable. And as it’s here today, you can try it our now.
Well not quite now. The exhibition opens 8 April, and tickets are officially on sale from 30 March; but, that said, there seem to be a lot of ways of getting early-bird tickets ranging from being a subscriber to the Museum newsletter to having a Visa card.