One of biggest indie geek culture providers on YouTube brings their colorful cast of personalities to VR.
If you’re a fan of board games, Dungeons & Dragons or just niche geek culture in general, then odds are you’ve heard of Geek & Sundry. At 1.7 million subscribers, the digital entertainment company is responsible for some of the biggest shows on YouTube from TableTop, a weekly show lead by Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton, to the insanely popular roleplaying series Critical Role where professional voice actors team up for an epic Dungeons & Dragon campaign.
Now the endlessly energetic team of nerds behind this geek empire have teamed up with Hollywood-based immersive entertainment studio Light Sail VR for a fresh new weekly show that lets fans get even closer to all that intense board game action they’ve come to love.
Launched this week on YouTube VR and Google Daydream, Now Your Turn is a 180-degree VR experience that sits users right at the game table next to their favorite Geek & Sundry personalities for a hearty round of good old fashioned gaming.
Each episode features a new game as well as a new set of cast members ready to bring the heat such as Ivan Van Norman, Becca Scott, and many more.
“We wanted to find the best, most creative way to showcase VR 180 and strongly felt that a board gaming show would be a great fit for the medium,” said Light Sail VR Co-founder and Executive Producer Robert Watts. “Rather than simply watching a live game, the viewer has the opportunity to sit across their favorite Geek & Sundry hosts and feel like they are playing the games with them!”
“Each year, our team strives to take the gaming experience to the next level for our community,” added Geek & Sundry’s Ivan Van Norman, Host and Executive Producer of International Tabletop Day 2018. “Partnering with Light Sail VR provides us with the opportunity to connect with fellow gamers in an immersive way and engage with a wider audience.”
Episode one, “You’ve Got Crabs,” has users duking it out with a handful of the cast in a game of, you guessed it, You’ve Got Crabs. Unlike some of the other long-form content provided by Geek & Sundry, Now Your Turn takes a quicker approach, condensing the game down via some clever editing and well-timed montages. Its decision to go with just a 180-degree field of view as opposed to 360-degrees was also a solid choice, providing an immersive experience while still keeping the attention focused on the game in happening in front of the user.
While this is strictly a 180-degree video and therefore provides no room for any interaction, the experience still does do a good job of making me feel included by providing several cut-away moments in which my teammate “talks” directly to me in order to strategize. There’s also a set of crab claws in which to hold my cards. Several pop-up graphics also do an excellent job of informing me of which cards I have. So while this is most definitely a passive VR experience, there were definitely several portions of it in which I actually thought I was contributing.
Created to promote Geek & Sundry’s upcoming 7th annual International Tabletop Day, a day-long event dedicated to celebrating board games specifically, a new episode of Now Your Turn will launch every Friday leading up to the annual April 28th event via the official Geek & Sundry YouTube channel.