VR Experience ‘Pollinator Park’ Shows Us Life Without Bees

The EU Pollinators Initiative invites you to celebrate World Bee Day at Pollinator Park.

*(UPDATE 5.20.21) We’ve updated the article to better clarify the development teams behind the project.*

Without pollination, planet Earth and humanity itself would be in serious trouble. We rely on this natural process for vegetables, fruits, cotton (for clothing), hay (grown to feed livestock), and so much more. Much of our lives depend on busy bees and other insects buzzing about and pollinating plants around the world. If that were to end we’d be looking at a pretty dismal future.

Pollinator Park is a VR experience that imagines what our future would look like if bees and other insects stopped pollinating our Earth. The year is 2050 and a series of catastrophic events have sent us into an ecological crisis that’s left the planet deprived of healthy ecosystems and wealthy flora.

When you first enter Pollinator Park, you’re cast into a barren world that’s colorless and cold. In the middle of this wasteland, you’ll find futuristic biodomes illuminating the dead landscape. These are beacons of hope created by Dr. Beatrice Kukac, a scientist and nature-lover at heart. Each one is a safe haven for our hard-working pollinating insects.

The VR experience is part theme park, part interactive museum, with a little bit of crystal ball magic thrown in as well. It’s meant to be educational as well as emotionally engaging, as you explore the story of the park’s founder and learn why pollination is so important. In this future, you remember a time when the world was filled with green grass, flowers, colorful fruit growing from trees, and presents you with the question: “Did that world cease to exist, or did you simply cease to notice?”

Pollinator Park is made up of different biodomes with Dr. Kukac acting as your guide. As you make your way through each biodome in the park, you’ll be able to do things like pollinate the world using a paintbrush. You’ll see homes and buildings transform into beautiful architecture as flowers begin to bloom on the walls and in the yards, allowing you to explore colors with each brushstroke.

Image Credit: EU Environment via YouTube

“Miro’s Meadows” is the main biodome in Pollinator Park. It is a piece of nature that somehow managed to survive the drought of pollination. It’s here where you can stroll through lush fields and rolling hills, watch butterflies, bees, and other insects as they fly freely from flower to flower, and witness the pollination process up close.

Not all of Pollinator Park is about exploring nature. Another part of the experience shows you what it’s like to shop for groceries and supplies in a pollinator-deprived world. You’d be surprised at how many things you buy on a day-to-day basis that rely on pollination.

Pollinator Park is a VR experience based on actual scientific research about the global decline of pollinator species. It’s designed to explain the importance of pollination, the impact it has on climate change, and what would happen if the process ever stopped. 

Image Credit: EU Environment via YouTube

In an interview with StirWorld, Yuri Matteman, Head of Education at Naturalis Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands, said, “If you want people to fall in love with nature and empower them to act, you can’t only do that in a museum. You have to connect with people where they are.”

Conceived and launched by the EU Pollinators Initiative, Pollinator Park was created by Cousteau Studio and Poppins & Wayne, a cross-disciplinary team of scientists and artists, in collaboration with renowned Paris-based archibiotect Vincent Calledbaut

Pollinator Park will launch on World Bee Day (May 20th) on the Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift. A web browser experience will be available in English, Dutch, German, French, and Spanish.

Feature Image Credit: EU Pollinators Collective

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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