Helena Hastings, digital assistant at sounddelivery, on charities embracing the potential of virtual reality, and telling their stories authentically and powerfully.
Charities are often criticised for being slow to adopt new digital technologies. But, with the rising popularity of virtual reality as a powerful storytelling device, charities are leading the way when it comes to using tech for social impact.
Virtual reality has amazing potential for storytelling. Sharing firsthand stories is one way charities can have enormous impact and raise awareness of their cause. Virtual reality goes one step further; it encourages people to empathise in a different way and brings you as close to the experience as possible. Virtual reality is being used more and more by charities to place people at the heart of important issues.
Here are four charities who are embracing the potential of virtual reality storytelling.
Too Much Information
The National Autistic Society’s Too Much Information film aims to give people a greater understanding of autism. The immersive video is based on real experiences and made in consultation with autistic people. They have created a schools’ pack to encourage education on autism from an early age.
Clouds over Sidra
This film commissioned by the UN and created by Chris Milk is filmed in a refugee camp in Jordan, home to thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing conflict and devastation. Chris Milk created a virtual reality where the viewer with the headset hears the story of Sidra, a 12 year old Syrian girl whilst viewing her surroundings – all 360-degrees of it. You experience her telling the story of her family and of others who live in the camp and their day-to-day struggles. This allows you to feel empathy for her in a powerful way by hearing a story which would often go untold.
Produced by the National Theatre’s Immersive Storytelling Studio, Home: AamirHome: Aamir uses 360-degree footage to place the viewer into the middle of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp. Along with testimony from a real inhabitant of the camp, the immersive film takes the viewer on a journey through Sudan, Libya, across the Mediterranean, Italy and eventually into France.
A Walk Through Dementia
The app which has been developed by Alzheimer’s Research UK and virtual reality specialists VISYON. The app provides the user three everyday scenarios and by trying to navigate these they are presented with the challenges that Dementia sufferers are faced with all the time. Alzheimer's UK wants to raise awareness among younger people in particular who may believe that the disease doesn't affect them. New technology like this can have a huge impact on how we see and manage conditions like dementia.
sounddelivery is a specialist digital media training, production and consultancy for the not-for-profit and social enterprise sector, with a passion for digital storytelling.
On Friday September 13th at Conway Hall in London sounddelivery is organising Being The Story a one day storytelling event giving a platform to people with inspiring stories that need to be told – and heard.
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