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Ali Wong: VR is like weed, give it a try

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Los Angeles, Nov 29 (IANS) Actress and stand up comedian Ali Wong, who participated in the interactive virtual reality (VR) movie “Bonfire”, says VR is like marijuana and is the future.

Wong voices the robot sidekick of a stranded intergalactic explorer in “Bonfire”, reports variety.com.

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To commemorate the release of “Bonfire” for Sony’s PlayStation VR headset, Wong spoke about her work on the project, and her thoughts about VR in general.

She said she didn’t have a whole lot of experience with VR before teaming up with Baobab Studios.

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“I’ve seen a lot of the publicity surrounding VR over the years and think it’s an exciting new medium, though my exposure was minimal. My husband is a gamer, so I’ve tried VR out with him, but that’s all I had going into ‘Bonfire.'”

“Bonfire” is a narrative VR experience, albeit with a lot of interactivity. The story casts the viewer in the starring role of a space explorer who crash-lands a spaceship on an unknown planet. It lets her or him interact with robot sidekick Debbie (voiced by Wong) as well as a cute monster emerging from the woods, and it also ultimately forces the viewer to make a decision on the future of the planet and all of its inhabitants.

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“Making the viewer a part of the story was very intriguing to me, ” Wong said.

“It was really different from anything else I’ve ever done.”

Wong has voiced characters for animated shows and movies before.

“I love voiceover acting,” she told Variety. “One o f my favorite projects I’ve ever done is (the animated Netflix show) ‘Tuc a and Bertie.’ It gives me a chance to play characters people wouldn’t normally cast me in, because I get to be more vulnerable and play in a fantasy world.”

Wong said that her voice acting for “Bonfire” differed from previous projects due to the interactive nature of the film. Since viewers can influence the plot, and actively interact with a character, she had to record a lot more material.

“Many lines the viewer may never hear, and sometimes up to 30 variations” I thought it was crazy,” she recalled.

While that basic structure may be the same, Wong said that “Bonfire ” wasn’t much like her comedy sets at all.

“The script was clearly written for people of all ages, unlike my stand-up. Debbie is so compassionate and nurturing. She does not talk about sex at all.”

Asked what she thinks about VR after working on “Bonfire,” Wong responded: “Give VR a try. It’s like Marijuana. It’s the future.”



–IANS dc

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