Interactive VR Memorial Honors Victims of Atomic Bombs

The first-of-its-kind VR experience incorporates real testimonies and photogrammetry to highlight the need for global nuclear disarmament.

As tension continue to rise between various nations, the probability of a major global conflict taking place in the near future is only becoming more of a reality. That’s why it’s more important than ever to look back at history at our previous actions in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes we’ve already made. With pressure building between North Korea and the rest of the world, nuclear war specifically has become a major concern among many countries. 

Hence the vital need for organizations such as the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), a non government coalition dedicated to creating a worldwide ban on all atomic bombs and nuclear arms. The influential group was recently awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize thanks to their landmark United Nations Weapons Ban Treaty, the first official international treaty to call for a ban of nuclear weapons entirely. Now the 100-country coalition is seeking to spread more awareness for their important campaign by utilizing VR to put users directly in the shoes of the victims of these catastrophic weapons.

Developed in partnership with VR developer YesPleaseThankYou and Nobel Media, The Day the World Changed is the first-ever interactive VR memorial experience to pay tribute to those effected directed by nuclear warfare spanning back to 1945. By utilizing testimonies from actual survivors and various data visualization, the 8-minute experience accurately showcases the devastating effects of atomic weaponry both physically and emotionally.

Users will hear first-hand accounts by actual survivors brought to life via the latest in 3D scanning and photogrammetry technology and stand right in the center of the ruins of post-bomb Hiroshima. They’ll also get an up-close look at the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and former Soviet Union during the Cold War thanks to impressive data visualization techniques.

“This experience uses virtual reality’s strengths in a way that makes viewers have a more visceral relationship with what is usually just a rational engagement with numbers, this time focusing on one of the most urgent issues of today,” stated YesPleaseThankYou co-founder Gabo Arora. “VR experiences are intimate places that we can visit in a way that makes them, by definition, a modern kind of memorial. The Day the World Changed is an intimate history and commemoration of the victims of nuclear weapons and a cry for change of the world we now find ourselves in.”

With such massive ramifications, it can sometimes be difficult for younger generations to wrap their heads around how truly catastrophic these weapons can be. Without seeing the horrific results for themselves, many just won’t understand the importance of ridding our world from the potential of nuclear war. Hopefully The Day the World Changed is able to hit the public on an emotional level impossible with simple textbooks and images online. Actually immersing users in these terrifying scenarios could be just what ICAN needs to further involve the general public in the global banning of atomic bombs and other nuclear-powered weapons.

About the Scout

Kyle Melnick

Kyle is a writer for VRScout also working in new media production. He's also a part-time bounty hunter.

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