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MTBS3D RT @GetImmersed: We’re moving to Silicon Valley! @IfcSummit November 5 & 6, 2019 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Call…
MTBS3D Julien Le Corre, Lead Developer at @InnerspaceVR , talked about their latest #VR escape room title The Corsair's Cu… https://t.co/uuOT6SG0NA
MTBS3D As fun as Arizona Sunshine is in traditional #VR, @Vertigo_Games took it up a notch by transforming it into a locat… https://t.co/YkGpv2wLMM
MTBS3D .@OfficialGDC would not be complete without visiting SVVR's annual #VR Mixer! In today's interview, we catch up wi… https://t.co/hibivrbYdq
MTBS3D Spencer Jackson, Software Engineer at @NordicTrack, talks about their latest iFit #VR Bike paired with an #HTCVivehttps://t.co/5b2uD9Hoa9
MTBS3D William Provancher is the CEO of @TacticalHaptics. He demonstrated their latest haptics controllers for us in this… https://t.co/Ir1Cog8bRI
MTBS3D Gaspar Ferreiro is the CEO of Project Ghost Studios. In this interview, he talks about their new Project Ghost dem… https://t.co/T2xz1VdtGI
MTBS3D .@EpicGames had loads of news to share at @OfficialGDC. Marc Petit is the General Manager of #Epic's @UnrealEnginehttps://t.co/CnqpGAB2f4
MTBS3D Chris Hook, Graphics & Visual Technologies Marketing Chief for @intel spoke to us during @OfficialGDC. We talked ab… https://t.co/ji6AKJpfwM
MTBS3D We interviewed @networknextinc at #GDC2019. They are in the business of ensuring the best connectivity and lowest l… https://t.co/87b06uMAm7
MTBS3D .@reality_clash is a developing #AugmentedReality combat game. We got to interview Tony Pearce, the CCO and Co-Fou… https://t.co/24P5kLz0Ef
MTBS3D Robots explode at #GDC2019 with @FuturLab. They have a new title for #PSVR called Mini Mech Mayhem. #GDC19https://t.co/JiIuJgGZ64
MTBS3D .@zerolatencyVR has a number of #VR out-of-home entertainment centers around the world, and we got to catch up with… https://t.co/NZJBVyRUWz
MTBS3D RT @GetImmersed: Dr. Ofer Shai is the Director of Omnia AI at @DeloitteCanada. He talked about the misconceptions about #ArtificialIntellig
MTBS3D RT @GetImmersed: The use of #futurecomputing in #healthcare was one of the prominent tracks at #Immersed2018, and we got to see some really…
MTBS3D RT @GetImmersed: Ricardo Wagner, Director of Product Marketing for #Office365 at @microsoftcanada, talked about their efforts to make moder…
MTBS3D RT @GetImmersed: Pascal Langlois, Founder of Collective Intent, talks about the potential of using motion capture technologies to re-enable…

When VR News is Dangerous

BBC News Logo
When MTBS got the headline "How virtual reality can bring news to life", we immediately thought this was going to be a creative use of a 3D 360 degree camera rig for VR news broadcasting. This is not the case. Instead, journalist and film-maker Nonny de la Pena has been using virtual reality recreations to help tell her news stories. As described in her BBC segment, she interviews people on the scene and recreates what happened in a virtual environment. In her opinion, VR becomes a great tool to give the viewers a stronger sense of presence, empathy and a deeper understanding of events.

Unfortunately, this is where things fall apart. It's a VR recreation; not actual camera footage. If people have emotional reactions to VR recreations, and the viewing public is led to believe that it's a 1:1 accurate account of what happened, how could anyone effectively differentiate news from deliberate propaganda? Imagine news and imagery being made from word of mouth alone - or worse, imagery and emotion that is orchestrated from imagination rather than being pasted together by source material that has to be scrutinized? What if so called VR news isn't sourced from journalists at all?

An article, radio piece, or traditional broadcast leaves much to the imagination - and that's actually a good thing. We need those gaps because it leaves room to fill things in with other parts of the story from multiple sources. There is room for debate, discussion and personal decision making. However, if we begin to accept VR recreations as factual accounts of what happened, and if we have evidence that these recreations are going to have an involuntary emotional response, then the whole concept of journalistic integrity and what it means to hold up to scrutiny are going to get thrown out the window.

Now if this was a documentary movie or Ron Howard film, then that would be fine. Everyone going in to the theater knows they are there to be emotionally attached to the story and perspective - but that's Hollywood! The audience knows that after they leave the theater, and they look up Apollo 13 on Wikipedia, they are going to find a hundred inaccuracies compared to real life. They accept it because they went to see that film to be entertained. The responsibilities are very different in the case of VR news broadcast recreations, and there is an added risk that experiences will be engineered to maximize emotional response rather than level headed news reporting.

While the positive intentions are there and it's important to experiment with new forms of media, if VR recreations were to get traction, this could mark a very dangerous path for broadcast news and public scrutiny.  This is of course just our opinion...what's yours?