Virtual reality based play to premier in Sydney

“The Nether”, a virtual reality based play will premier in Sydney tomorrow as part of the VR Sydney community meetup group.

Will TV eyeballs migrate to VR worlds now?

While the “idiot box” in living rooms around Australia is going through its greatest ever changes, Virtual and Augmented Reality is growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 90%+ and may indeed invert our living rooms beyond what any of us can imagine.

As the term “second screen” dominated media conversations just a few years ago, what if instead of watching thousands of minutes of TV per week, VR enabled home entertainment patrons to watch and interact on any number of screens, or better yet, be inside the screen and inside the scene allowing passive functionality and active visceral experiences?

In Sydney tomorrow night at Seymour Theatre, the VR, media and marketing community will gather to witness “The Nether” which asks just these questions. You can RSVP here:


“The Nether” is a play by Jennifer Hayley and local Catnip Productions intertwining the dystopian and utopian speculations of a VR world which is in many people’s opinions right upon us in 2017.

In fact some may say a world where we live in AR and VR is already represented by Snap filters and Instastories and with these, VR and AR has already crossed the chasm of mainstream adoption. The frenetic and impressive activity by developers on ARkit (Apple) and ARcore (Google) goes further to amplify and activate analysts predictions of a trillion dollar industry as per Citibank.

When we consider 40 years ago graphic user interfaces brought us “Pong” and now Sydney based Alibaba funded start-up Humense brings us neuropsychologically true human performance in full volume, what is the impact on “screen time” and brand interactions?

What is the impact on behaviour change and ethics? What is the impact on native content production for this format to reflect the algorithmic advantages on facebook and other platforms that VR is being afforded?

Whilst the media and marketing world is starting to wrestle with the vast distinction between 360 video and true VR and AR, the facts are being realised by firms such as Nielsen market research who found that VR elicited 27% higher emotional engagement than in a 2D environment and 17% higher emotional engagement than a 360-degree video on a flat screen.

As one of “The Nether” characters attests to the magnetism of leaving the real world to cash in to the virtual, “the advertising was extremely compelling”.  This brings us to an interesting point as “explaining virtual reality via video or words is liking teaching you how to fly by driving a car” states Humense cofounder Scott OBrien. You have to swallow the red or blue pill to understand the Matrix so they say – just when you think you know it all, experience is a must to understand.

In the past year the VR experience has been described often as a new level of presence and empathy but what if we go beyond the egocentric spatial experience and “photo real” and add “agency”, “embodiment” and “neuropsychological truth” along with social interactions as we will in 2018 in VR.

Whether VR is absorbed into the TV industry or operates separately, or both, we are yet to see. As Goldman Sachs, Citibank and a host of analysts predict,  VR content and hardware will be larger than the existing TV industry so now is a valuable time to check out all facets of VR and AR consciousness and behaviour change. For tickets to “The Nether” on Tuesday night at Seymour Theatre go to http://www.meetup.com/ar_syd

From an AR Sydney media release


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