On 7 July, a select crowd of gamers and electronics/computing media types gathered at an undisclosed location in South Melbourne. After some schmoozing and libations, they were guided to a projection room and told to stand near a back wall.
Then the lights went down. Then the thing you see in the video below happened.
Three-dimensional projections. Surround sound. Flames and smoke. Fog and wind. Actors performing as soldiers, including one whose arm catches fire. And in the center of it all, a prop shaped like a classic Airstream travel trailer.
The site of the event was dubbed Area 52 (one better than that old site in Nevada, we guess). The show’s storyline is something about an otherworldly material morphing into a vessel that zooms through space, lands on Earth and gets an unfriendly welcome from our special forces. The aim of the event, outside of blowing the attendees’ socks off, was to make them feel they were inside a game.
More to the point, the performance was the kick-off for a traveling promotion in Australia for Alienware, the family of high-end, slickly dressed laptops, netbooks and desktops designed for full-immersion gaming. The centerpiece of the Area 52 tour is a customized Airstream in which people can take Alienware products for a spin. (Go to Alienware Australia’s site for a schedule, or follow the tour on Twitter with the #AlienwareA52 hashtag.)
What’s really cool is the local talent that put together the 3-D show. The main designers hailed from Boffswana, a South Melbourne creative technology company. (Hmmm… the show’s “secret location” was somewhere in South Melbourne. Curious.) Sound designers from Australia’s s:amplify were brought in. MediaCom marketing agency served as the show’s producer and promoter.