And now for something completely different. 4D cinema experiences have been floating around for a while, especially at places like theme parks where you can wander a swamp and get sprayed with all manner of grossness to enhance the experience. They've always been a bit cheesy and honestly a little weird to my mind. Now Mediamation have moved into a new space with their MX4D experiences, eSports. I can almost hear the sighs of disbelief from you reading this, but bear with me and you might be pleasantly surprised!
So here's the premise: eSports are moving towards being a cinema experience to allow for another avenue to get a slice of that arena experience, you can pull together a decent crowd to enjoy the experience together and cheer on their favourite teams. That alone is a fairly new concept alone. Adding onto this, there's the potential to have pop-up 'gamecaster stations' allowing for these cinemas to host the events themselves. A booth pops up for players and shoutcasters alike to get some space to do their thing and the seats are already in place to enhance the experience. So, not only are Mediamation providing an enhanced experience for eSports but they're actually helping to prop up the spread of eSports consumption into the mainstream. Pretty neat, huh?
As to the actual experience of your chair going wild underneath you while you watch eSports, colour me surprised. It actually works pretty well. I must confess that I'm not the most active viewer of eSports, but it definitely added to the experience to me as a casual viewer. Feeling the air blast around you when a winged enemy flew by, feeling the impact of each hit in various parts of your body or fully rocking during a death really spiked the excitement. While we checked it out during Vain Glory, I think there are perhaps games more suited to this kind of experience with higher intensity of action.
There's a lot more value here than I expected, the whole experience is definitely enhanced and made more fun with it. While this might not be for everyone, and I'm not sure what the appeal would be for existing eSports fans, this is definitely a fantastic way of bringing new people into the fold. The addition of pop-up eSports venues within cinemas is a masterstroke to widespread adoption and we'll find out from October just how well this will take. Check out our interview below to get a little more info around MX4D.