By Kelas Lloyd
The best part of The Gray Man offsite activation at San Diego Comic-Con this year is that the video they play in the waiting area is long enough, about 30 minutes, that you won’t see the whole thing through more than two or three times. The footage is also entertaining and interesting… when the sound is synced up. Or on.
The worst part is that the activation is not fully accessible. If you can’t manage about 40 stairs, shamble-dash across a walkway, see visual cues, or use your entire body weight in a “strength” test, The Gray Man Program is entirely uninterested in recruiting you. Further, the footage shown in the waiting area is not closed-captioned. It’s not surprising that a movie focused on abled people shooting and blowing stuff up is not very conscientious about accessibility. What’s surprising is that Netflix, currently losing subscribers, is ignoring a significant part of the population in not opening this campaign to everyone.
If you’re able-bodied enough and good with smaller spaces, the pressure of time, and fog effects, there are three stages to this activation to “test” the three things the Gray Man Program values: Skill, Strength, and Speed. At each stage, you have thirty seconds to complete the task. As a veteran of escape rooms, even a disabled one, I found the solutions obvious. My partner for the activation was a little befuddled by Skill and Strength, so you might need those thirty seconds.
For those who have no Comic-Con badge this year, fail to get Severance reservations, and are really big Ryan Gosling and/or Chris Evans, you can give this a go. It isn’t worth the wait if you have anything else to wait for, though, especially considering how long you’ll be standing on black asphalt in direct sunlight wearing a mask. Maybe next year Netflix will bring something fully accessible.
Miss any of The Beat’s earlier SDCC ’22 Coverage? Find it all here!