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Emmy Awards 2018: The 7 virtual reality titles to made the shortlist

VR experiences like Spider-Man Homecoming and Blade Runner 2049 make the cut in 2018

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There are seven virtual reality titles in the running across two categories at the 2018 Emmy Awards, one more than last year.

Although there is still not a separate award category for virtual reality productions, the inclusion of seven titles in the shortlist shows how VR is continuing to prove its ability to give audiences something unique, whether it be the set of their favorite TV show to explore, or a chance at being Spider-Man.

The VR nominees include games, experiences and 360-degree videos, with big names like Blade Runner 2049 and Spider-Man Homecoming sharing the limelight 360-degree 'Google Doodle' Back to The Moon, and Coco, a VR experience by Pixar.

Listed by category, here are the seven VR nominees, along with their trailers:

Outstanding Original Interactive Program

Back to The Moon - Google

Google's first VR doodle arrived on May 3 to celebrate the life of French filmmaker Georges Méliès. The Doodle appeared on Google's home page and let visitors click through to the full 360-degree short film on YouTube.

Like other 360-degree videos, Back to The Moon can be explored by clicking and dragging the mouse as you watch the video, or by tilting a smartphone.

Along with Google's doodle team, Back to The Moon was created in collaboration with Google Spotlight Stories and the Cinémathèque Française team at Google Arts & Culture. The short film was produced by Nexus Studios in London.

Blade Runner 2049: Memory Lab - Oculus

Released in October 2017, Memory Lab is a virtual reality experience made to complement the movie, Blade Runner 2049, itself a long-awaited sequel to the 1982 original.

Available for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, Memory Lab is one of three VR experiences built to add an extra dimension to the movie. The first-person experience begins with you visiting the Wallace Corporation's Memory Lab for a rundown of an incident in the previous VR installment, Replicant Pursuit, where your character — a Blade Runner — may have killed a human being.

With the help of a holographic AI, which incorporates real-life footage with the videogame-like graphics of Memory Lab, you are tasked with reconstructing the incident to help explain what happened.

Coco VR - Disney-Pixar

Disney's first virtual reality title, Coco VR arrived in November 2017 as a way to promote the new Pixar movie, Coco. But more than just a VR trailer of a new movie, Coco VR is a mini-game which encourages the player to dress their avatar in different clothes, explore a village from the movie, take selfies - and, of course, watch the trailer for Coco in a virtual open-air cinema.

Available for Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear VR, Coco VR was produced by Oculus, and in part by Magnopus, which also created Blade Runner 2014: Memory Lab.

Grand Finale at Saturn - NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

When the Cassini spacecraft was deliberately plunged into Saturn's atmosphere on September 15, 2017, ending its near 20-year adventure through space, NASA celebrated with what it called the Grand Finale at Saturn.

This project included live coverage of the spacecraft's final maneuver, along with a short film which catalogued the history of the mission — and two 360-degree videos. One of these was NASA's first 360-degree broadcast, a live stream from inside mission control, and the second was an animation to show Cassini as it flew between Saturn and its rings.

Spider-Man Homecoming VR Experience - CreateVR

Another movie tie-in, this VR game from June 2017 is available for the PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets. As you might expect, Homecoming VR lets you experience what it's like to be Peter Parker from a first-person point of view, complete with Spider-Man's new Stark Industries-developed suit.

Although not a fully-fledged game, Homecoming VR serves up fast-paced target shooting challenges and has you sling yourself across the city before confronting bad guy Vulture.

Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program

This is the second Emmy awards category to feature VR nominees, and they include:

Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality - Owlchemy Labs

Available for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and PS VR, Virtual Rick-ality was first released in April 2017, with a version for PlayStation VR arriving a year later.

Taking up the role of a Clone Morty, players are tasked with a range of simple but fast-paced challenges like repairing a spaceship and doing laundry - the latter a nod to Job Simulator, whose developer Owlchemy also worked on this game.

The usual VR staples are all here too, like exploring the environment, shooting targets, and solving puzzles.

Silicon Valley: Inside the Hacker Hostel - Rewind

Based on the HBO satire Silicon Valley, Inside the Hacker Hostel takes gamers into a virtual recreation of Erlich's home, used by startup Pied Piper to get their business off the ground. HTC Vive players can walk around, inspect lifelike details, then pick up and interact with a huge number of objects throughout the workspace.

There's a smartphone to video chat with CEO Richard, tequila to drink, food to be cooked, and a piano to play — or, you can pick up almost any object and hurl it across the room. Then punch a hole in the wall for good measure.

The 2018 Emmy Awards take place on September 17th at 8PM ET.


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