Delusion creator Jon Braver talks upcoming The Blue Blade

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— Courtesy of Haunted Play LLC

Popular interactive play Delusion is about to unleash the sixth installment and we’re sitting down with its brilliant creator to discuss the unique event.

This past week it was announced that the critically acclaimed interactive play Delusion, would be returning with its sixth installment titled, The Blue Blade. Created by the brilliant mastermind Jon Braver in 2011, Delusion has since gone on to have five additional interactive plays, as well as a VR Experience, which drops audience members into a fully immersive theatrical experience where they will “play their part.”

For those of us who are knee-deep in the world of immersive experiences and haunted attractions, Delusions announcement sent an exciting ripple throughout the community, as the grandfather of interactive experiences was back once again. The other day, we had the opportunity to speak with Jon Braver about his latest interactive theatre experience, his inspiration for The Blue Blade, what fans and newcomers can expect from his latest show, and where the Delusion Universe is heading.

1428 Elm: Congratulations on the return of Delusion! For those who may not be familiar with Delusion could you tell us a little bit about it? 

Jon Braver: Thank you! Think of Delusion as a “moving interactive play” where small groups physically move through the narrative. They play their parts in the haunting tale; performing certain actions to move the story forward. It is not a haunted house. It is not an escape room. You are inside the story. Pro actors, stunts, creature FX, elaborate lighting and set design and an original score all weave together an experience like no other.

A bit of history about Delusion. You could say it began in 1996 at my parent’s house in Chicago (it was called “Haunted Play” back then). I took over the house, kicked the parents out, and wrote a 10-minute interactive horror play. This really began as a means to bring peeps together to embark on an adventure, as I used to do when playing RPG’s with friends, but for real. Strangers enduring a wicked time and growing closer as a result. We need this now more than ever. An intimate time with strangers.

1428 Elm: Last year, instead of a fully immersive play, you instead created a VR (virtual reality) Experience titled Delusion: Lies Within. What made you decide to come back this year with a new show? 

JB: Pure f*cking insanity. I never learn. These plays are beasts, far more stressful to create than film in my opinion. So again, why come back? Honestly, I feel a great sense of pride in what the team has created. Delusion is a family that has evolved into a real brand, and that brand needs to continue to not only stay relevant but as a means to achieve the mission of human to human interaction! But wait, there’s more! Check out the Lies Within VR series site to see some of the behind-the-scenes videos.

1428 Elm: The Blue Blade is being touted as Indiana Jones meets Blade Runner. What inspired this new storyline and, without giving away any spoilers, of course, does this tie into all the previous shows that you have created under the Delusion umbrella? 

JB: We historically set our plays around the turn of the century, but I wanted to do something fresh, and time travel hadn’t been touched yet. I wanted to bring together some of the feelings from my favorite adventure movies, then bring them to life. The space inspired the story as well. An unassuming frontage, kind of like Floyd’s arcade in the original Tron. But there lies beyond so much more.

As far as tying into other Delusions, just know that there is a larger Delusion Universe of stories and some stories are directly connected while others quite loosely. This one is the latter, but the family name Lowell persists in a few of the tales. This is not a major centerpiece of this story though, to be honest.