We Trip on the ‘Legion’ Mixed Reality Experience at SDCC

     July 21, 2017

legion-comic-con

The concept of reality in FX’s Legion is constantly being called into question: in every episode you must ask yourself if what you are being shown is really what’s happening, or if the main character’s perception has been compromised. At this year’s San Diego Comic Con, FX’s Sessions: The Legion Mixed Reality Experience hits the perfect tone of unsettling, fun, creepy, and exciting. By combining actors and HoloLens’ mixed reality technology, FX has put together a pretty disconcerting adventure.

After waiting for a while outside a nondescript door, you are greeted and brought into a white hallway with more doors. There are people in white lab coats and others who are dressed a lot like The Eye, all staring at you while you walk past old ’80s-looking computer screens with medical jargon and computer code scrolling across them. You are asked where you have been. “Do you remember where you are?” “Do you know who you are?” “Do you remember me?” It becomes clear that for the experience you are the show’s main character, David Haller, and everyone treats you as such. The feeling of unease is palatable at this point, as people continue to stare at you and take notes. A technician fits you with the HoloLens headset and then you a brought into a room where the interactive experience really kicks off.

Through the headset, the empty room is populated with objects and pictures on the wall. You work your way through a storyline, interacting with the objects using the headset, with the actors adding a second level to the experience through dialog and directions. Because it’s a mixed reality experience, the actors touch and interact with you, and the lights change as the story progresses. You hear voices, and actors question you and direct you to use your “powers” on certain objects, and, in true Legion fashion, things get really weird.

Overall the whole adventure is very engaging, especially if you are a fan of the show, as it emulates the tone and feeling of Legion exceptionally well. The HoloLens tech does not always work perfectly, and it took a couple tries for me. But once they got everything working it was very exciting, and being able to use the your hands to move things in a virtual setup is extremely fun. The whole story takes about 10 minutes, so if you have a chance during Comic Con, I highly recommend stopping by.

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Television