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Filmgate Interactive addresses social impact through an immersive experience

“In climate change pinball, we offer a new format for us to play pinball and piggybacking a positive social message on that experience,” tells Kim Grinfeder about his volumetric mixed-reality experience. 'Climate Change Pinball' project has been announced on the Filmgate Interactive Media Festival's competition lineup, running from Dec 4-6 in Miami and bringing together world-class creators.

Kim received a master's degree from New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program in 2000. In 2003, he joined the School of Communication at the University of Miami. Today Kim chairs the Department of Interactive Media. Being an associate professor, he teaches immersive storytelling, digital media, web design, and emerging narratives.

“I feel immersive technologies are a lot less wasteful and are a perfect medium for shareable experiences. We are only beginning to explore these possibilities, but the adage "show don't tell" needs to be updated to "try don't show," says Kim.

The game uses a Magic Leap headset and a custom-built haptic controller to show players not only the consequences of environmental negligence but also the benefits of caring for the environment by listening to the young voices in our society and promoting collaboration to resist the effects of climate on our planet, all within the context of a pinball game.

The virtual board attaches itself to a physical controller giving the player the haptic sensation of paying a true pinball game without the physical constraints a regular pinball game has. The board takes over the entire space, has holographic characters and animations that we could never do in a real pinball game.

“I still feel the main challenge to XR experiences is molding the experience itself. XR technologies don't have a well-defined language like cinema or common interactions like mobile apps," Kim continues. "These are just starting to define themselves, and it means we have to keep exploring, inventing, and learning from others, and while that's the challenge, it's also the fun part.”

Filmgate Interactive invites all curious and tech-savvy audiences to explore 'Climate Change Pinball' and other innovative projects from around the world free. The most noteworthy immersive experiences are coming from the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Korea, Argentina, Brazil. To better accommodate social distancing protocols, this year's hybrid edition will take place in-person and online. Stay tuned for Filmgate Miami Facebook Live.

The Miami's festival kicks off with the virtual Award Ceremony at the North Beach Bandshell and wraps up at the Sagamore South Beach Hotel, in-person. The interactive full-day pass includes immersive experiences, virtual screenings, poolside talks with NY Times' T Brand Studio, Vice, Magic Leap, Netflix. Yet, the three projects at the Sagamore - Spaced Out (the first-ever VR experience underwater), Battlescar (US Premiere) and Sound Sketches by Miami artist Nick Hardeman will be only available to be explored in person.

“As the world continues to face momentous challenges, Filmgate Miami remains firmly committed to supporting visual storytellers, creative and tech communities in the best way possible,” says Diliana Alexander, Executive Director of Filmgate Miami.

“Through our hybrid program, we want to remind you that there are more opportunities to unite us than divide us. Immersive storytelling redefines the way we conceive and share our stories to better address social injustice and empower bold, distinctive, and innovative regional voices.”


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