Review: Inside NYC’s Trippy New “Museum of Future Experiences”
Is a new VR exhibit the future of storytelling? We visited to find out.
Located in Andy Warhol’s old loft in Soho, the Museum of Future Experiences bills itself as a “mind-bending experience that blends immersive theater with individually prescribed virtual reality dreams, tuned to your deepest hopes and fears.”
Having attended this past weekend, I can tell you that’s a bit of an exaggeration. But there are certainly worse ways to spend an hour than peering “behind the curtain of your mind” at the MoFE.
The way it works is this: after answering a survey on a tablet about your personality, a MoFE employee will invite you to don a headset and headphones that serve up your custom “prescription” in 360-degree VR. By nature, these immersive, individualized “prescriptions” are difficult to describe, but flying, forestry, humanoid creatures and voiceovers will likely be involved.
Following that individual VR session, you and the rest of your group (up to six people) will proceed to another room where you’ll all experience a simulation compiling nuclear war, urban landscapes and rock music into one sort-of-coherent whole. After that, you can discuss the experiences with the members of your group or head for the exit.
“MoFE’s goal is to create a new class of entertainment experience that uniquely channels the strengths of immersive technology to bring people together, evoke wonder and awe, and add something magical to their lives,” says Tigran Askaryan of the MoFE. “Now is the right moment to offer people the opportunity to experience high-end, non-video game, immersive VR storytelling at physical locations across the country. MoFE aims to do just that, and this summer’s popup in SoHo is the first step in that direction.”
Repeat visitors to the MoFE will have a different experience each time they visit (up to four times), since each subsequent prescription builds on what they experienced during earlier visits.
Priced at $50 per ticket, the Museum of Future Experiences will be ending its limited engagement in SoHo on August 30 unless the run gets extended (which is a possibility).
It’s certainly an interesting way to spend a Saturday, and if nothing else, serves as a good introduction to the potential applications of VR and AI. But if you’re looking for a truly consciousness-altering adventure, you’d probably be better served eating edibles and syncing up Dark Side of The Moon with The Wizard of Oz.