“Game of Thrones” virtual elevator experience sounds like a scary blast

A 4D virtual reality experience that takes people on what sounds like a startlingly thrilling and realistic ride in a replica of the stark, skeletal winch elevator that ascends the 700-ft-tall wall at Castle Black in the HBO show has been getting a lot of press lately as it makes the rounds as a part of the touring “Game of Thrones” exhibit, which stopped most recently at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas.

Featuring authentic costumes and memorabilia from the American fantasy-drama, the exhibition was very popular in 2013, but HBO wanted to make it even more so, so they challenged experiential marketing firm, Relevent, to come up with something remarkable. It appears the company has done so with “Ascend the Wall.” Seeing people’s reactions as they ride it, such as in this short video which may be viewed on the Forbes website, clearly suggests that it is scarily convincing. Relevent worked with image developer Framestore to create the photo-real experience that “uses Oculus Rift Virtual Reality headsets, the Unity game engine, Oscar-winning VFX piplines, wind machines, real elevators and rumble packs to take the user into the world of ‘Game of Thrones,’ ”

4D elements added by Relevent include high-powered fans to create a whipping wind as the cage scales the wall, a rumble deck under the elevator to simulate creaky movement as it climbs and C02 jets that blast subzero air as one “steps” out onto the promontories. The exhibit has succeeded in generating buzz for the show as it gears up for Season 4 in April.

For upcoming tour dates and cities, visit the HBO website.


Cast member Kristian Nairn scales the virtual wall.

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