When Sony enlisted Punchdrunk to create its Resistance 3 ARG, it did so with the intention of doing a lot more than simply promoting its game. The more important objective was to test the relationship between theater and video games, working out how the two art forms could be used to create entirely new experiences that appeal to the audiences of both.
"Mixing theater with video games seemed especially pertinent for an innovative theater group like Punchdrunk and for a game like Resistance 3," David Wilson, head of public relations for Sony Computer Entertainment UK, says. "Punchdrunk is very much about an experience where the audience is very much in the thick of the action and, furthermore, plays an active role in the proceedings. Punchdrunk melded their knowledge of the game with the Japanese phenomenon of 'walks of terror' to create a theatrical experience that evoked the thrill of being within the video game world."
Punchdrunk artistic director Felix Barrett says the company agreed to the Resistance 3 project for the same reasons: to test the level of immersion that is inherent within video games and the possible interface with the real world.
"The emotional and experiential potential of finding yourself within a video game is huge--you are your own avatar," Barrett said during the lead-up to the event. "We [wanted to] explore the role of the audience as player, participant, and potential character within a project that transcends theatre and gaming and, in particular, [look at] the visceral potential for a fusion of these two forms."
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