David Cronenberg's movies will be transformed into an augmented reality game, according to Cinema Blend.
The Toronto International Film Festival is in the process of organizing a retrospective for the Canadian filmmaker, part of which will be "The Worlds of David Cronenberg," a multi-platform augmented reality game.
Augmented reality describes layering digital information on top of the real, physical world. For example, a game might use your phone's GPS to sense when you walk past a particular site, and provide you with information triggered by the location. Or, imagine that, while looking at a menu in a restaurant, your phone automatically gave you user reviews and photos for each dish before you picked.
According to TIFF, "The Worlds of David Cronenberg" will let users look through items in the archive and use them in an interactive online experience." The game will take place in phases that "progress into an augmented reality experience and will use a combination of social media technologies, locative services and 3D-photo modeling technology in stylized social-media-meets-psychological-thriller game play."
It's an appropriate tag for Cronenberg's body of work, especially his earlier films, which often probe the relationships between people and machines and, more generally, the problems of navigating between the real and fantasy worlds we construct for ourselves. In 1999's "eXistenZ," Cronenberg brought us into a near-future where everyone plays an intense virtual reality game that literally attaches to players' spines. It's hard to imagine what exactly "Body/Mind/Change" will look like, though the mention of "3D-photo modeling technology" makes us hope that people will get to (virtually) experience the kinds of physical mutations we saw in "Videodrome."
TIFF's Cronenberg game isn't the first initiative to marry technology with other forms of art and culture. Bjork's recent album "Biophilia," came complete with a suite of iPad apps that demonstrated certain properties inherent in the songs. And, for Showtime's marijuana dramedy "Weeds," the network released a Facebook game that lets users deal fake drugs online. Meanwhile, traditional video games are hedging closer and closer to other forms of entertainment, with continually improving graphics, increasingly detailed narratives, and consoles like the Kinect, which let users' bodies serve as the controllers.
Still, the idea of taking one director's backlist and designing an augmented reality game as a part of a retrospective is an ambitious one. If successful, the game could potentially simulate what it might be like to enter one of Cronenberg's cinematic worlds -- though, we'd imagine, the game will feel more like "eXistenZ" than the recent Freud/Jung S&M historical "A Dangerous Method."