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Homer Simpson Embraces Virtual Reality and Google

The creative team of 'The Simpsons' collaborated with Google Spotlight Stories to create a VR cough gag experience.

Fox Broadcasting Company and the creative team of The Simpsons collaborated with Google Spotlight Stories to create a VR experience for The Simpsons that was released in conjunction with the 600th episode of the animated series. A 2D version of the couch gag, called “Planet of the Couches,” aired at the beginning of the episode’s television broadcast on Oct. 16.

The VR version, which is available through the Google Spotlight Stories app on Android and iOS, is experienced with a Google Cardboard viewer. In the VR experience, the world of Simpsons couch gag is extended 360 degrees. Audience members are able to explore the VR scene with some degree of freedom, and multiple viewings yield slightly different results.

Still from the Simpsons VR couch gag.

“Spotlight Stories is all about pushing the boundaries of interactive, mobile storytelling,” says Jan Pinkava, creative director, Google Spotlight Stories. “Having a chance to build an immersive story with one of the most iconic and beloved shows of our time was an honor and thrilling challenge.”

“We are thrilled to collaborate with The Simpsons and Google Spotlight Stories on this milestone virtual reality experience. This is another example of how FOX is able to leverage innovation to deepen fan engagement and strive to bring interesting opportunities to our production partners,” says Angela Courtin, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at FOX.

“At first we had concerns about working with Google because we didn’t know who they were, but then we googled the company and were very impressed,” Homer Simpson added in the FOX press release.

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