Accidental aphorism

I have been discussing with colleagues at SIGGRAPH the odd journey we have had this year launching CAVE. The odd part was seeing the shift in perception by people not in our group.

We had been telling our colleagues for quite a while that it would be good to get audiences in an immersive experience together, in the same physical room, with the ability to see each other, and see where each other is looking. The general push-back we’d been getting was “Why would you want to do that?”

I think this is because there has been such a specific culture built up around VR as a one-person experience with people connected only remotely, that the idea of a co-located audience just seemed weird to our fellow practitioners. We realized that it wouldn’t work to simply talk about this. We needed to show it.

Now that about 2000 people have experienced CAVE in the last few days, thirty at a time, everybody gets it. When you are actually sitting in that audience, and you feel the energy of the people around you and you can see where they are looking, then you truly understand the power of a physically shared audience experience.

This morning I told some colleagues that everybody will now forget that they didn’t think this would work. At SIGGRAPH next year in Los Angeles there will probably be three groups showing similar experiences. Every one of those groups will claim (and perhaps truly believe) that they invented it.

But the way I this came out as an accidental aphorism: “People won’t believe you, until it was their idea.”

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