Slate Goes There With a Virtual Reality Talk Show

Conundrums debuts today, with host Dan Kois

As newsroom experiments with virtual reality become more common, Slate has decided to apply it to the talk show format with the introduction of Conundrums, a VR talk show that debuted today. The show appears on Facebook Live, with the VR on that platform made possible with the introduction this spring of Facebook Spaces, a virtual reality app the social media network created for use with Oculus Rift and Touch. The app allows participants to not only exist in the same virtual space, but manipulate that world by drawing on it, applying emojis to it and changing the 360-degree-view backgrounds.

Yesterday, Facebook enabled users to livestream Spaces on Facebook Live, and Slate’s first episode appeared today, with host and Slate culture editor Dan Kois interviewing Carrie Preston, formerly of CBS’ The Good Wife, currently of TNT’s Claws, on conundrums, which in the case of the show refers to Kois asking guests their opinions on different scenarios. One of the conundrums presented to Preston was asking her to decide who would win if the states of Georgia and Florida went to war with each other.

Kois and Preston started out the show at the Sixpoint Brewery in Red Hook, Brooklyn. And if you’re wondering about what sponsorships can look like on VR, there’s one of your answers; Sixpoint is the show’s sponsor.

As befits a still-experimental technology, it was not without its glitches, with the show going offline for a bit before being restored.