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Virtual Reality- Can it be Used in Journalism?

Virtual Reality- Can it be Used in Journalism?
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Virtual reality is gradually being used in different sectors, apart from gaming. As the technology tries to go mainstream, its use is also increasing. It has been used by many film-makers to create short films which can be viewed using VR headsets. The idea is to create empathy among viewers. With virtual reality technology, immersive journalism will become popular in the near future. It can be used as an effective medium of storytelling. Let us have a look at some of the short films that have used this technology and how it can affect human behaviour.

Read Also – Virtual Reality To Teach Cops When to Shoot

Changing Lives with VR

Chris Milk, a film-maker created the film Cloud Over Syria, which shows life of refugees in Syria, from the perspective of a 12-year old girl. This film takes the viewer to her makeshift school, makes the viewer meet her friends and even watch children, pass time in an ill-equipped gym or playing football on a rubble pitch.  According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, an estimated 4 million Syrians have become refugees.

Watching the movie, will give the viewers an idea about the life these refugees are spending each day.

The film was made in partnership with Samsung and the UN. The Gear VR headset is used to watch the film, which has been made using a 360 degree camera and the scenes are stitched together.

It was displayed in January, at the World Economic Forum in Davos. He said during Ted that “We took it there to show to people who can change the lives of the people in the film.”

Reaching out to People

Rose Troche, a film director made a film about sexual assaults that have become common on college campuses. The film invited viewers to get a feel of the reality of rape from female as well as male perspectives.

In 2012, Nonny de la Pena, the filmmaker famous for her virtual reality films displayed Hunger, her immersive journalism piece in Los Angeles. It got a lot of praise at the Sundance Film Festival. She has also created a follow-up film that focused on the civil war in Syria.

She told the BBC “Virtual reality, as a journalistic medium, will follow a similar trajectory as newspaper, radio and television. And like those different platforms, virtual reality has its own affordances, the most exciting being the embodied feeling of being ‘on scene’. This can give the audience a deep and more visceral understanding of a story.”

According to Mr. Milk, VR offers a means to “connect humans to other humans in a profound way”.”It is just a machine but through it you can become more passionate and empathetic and ultimately more human.”

Senior adviser at the UN, Gabo Arora said “By leveraging breakthrough technologies, such as virtual reality, we can create solidarity with those who are normally excluded and overlooked, amplifying their voices and explaining their situations.”

However, virtual reality headsets have still a long way to go before they are used more randomly. By overcoming obstacles like feelings of nausea and motion sickness, which the users of the headset feel, this technology can become a power tool for empathy. Virtual reality can elicit an instinctive reaction from viewers who are familiar with 3D, surround sound and special effects.

What do you think?

Do you think virtual reality can be used in journalism? Will it really be able to create empathy among people? Share your views in the comments below.

Image Source – sproutcontent.com

Article Source – bbc.com

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Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest writer and not necessarily by augmentedrealitytrends.com

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