Pop, pop pop pop… the bullets explode into the Chilean prisoners as I’m thrust into the line of fire. My body recoils, but I continue pushing forward until I’m just inches from their fractured faces, frozen with terror. I can't hide. I’m helpless. The feeling is real, even though the scene I’m witnessing is not.
This isn't a game, it's virtual reality storytelling at its best: the Oculus Rift disappears and becomes the medium through which the artist communicates an experience. At its worst, VR is a gimmick, a parlor trick that usurps the story being told. I saw examples of both at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA).