McDonalds in the United States has been providing an online tie-in for the blockbuster movie Avatar, with “Experience Pandora”, online at www.mcdonalds.com/avatar. Big Macs feature an Augmented Reality Thrill Card on the side of each box, delivering an up-close experience with the rich environments of Pandora, and revealing insights into the characters, fauna and flora from the movie. Displayed before a webcam, the perforated Thrill Card becomes a portal into three unique, immersive Pandora environments the Pandoran Rainforest, the Hallelujah Mountains and the Tree of Souls. The site is supplemented with the PANDORA ROVR experience giving users access to Pandora in a virtual reality vehicle.
Players control their augmented reality experiences by moving and tilting the Thrill Cards through the world of Pandora. They are invited to Touch the Mysterious Anemonids where they watch the Pandoran Rainforest light up as they touch the bioluminescent Anemonids. Players are then beckoned to Navigate Across Ancient Vine Bridges, where they can show their balancing skills by crossing the shaky vines to reach the Hallelujah Mountains. In the third scenario, Find Mystical Woodsprites, players explore the willow tree in search of the mystical Woodsprites, and watch them come to life.
McDonald’s PANDORA ROVR lets players drive a remote exploration vehicle (ROVR) around a virtual Pandora via a Flash interface. ROVR stands for Rapidly Operational Virtual Reality. Using both a topographical map view and a preview-mode from the ROVR’s point of view, players have the opportunity to be the first to explore Pandora’s beautiful but alien creatures and plants. Whenever the player wishes, they can capture a photographic-quality digital image of the ROVR’s view, which is generated via an NVIDIA-powered render farm. PANDORA ROVR is available in 15 languages and 30 countries.
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The game uses CGI assets directly from the film, which were originally created by Weta Digital and Lightstorm Entertainment (Cameron’s production company).