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9/11 with oculus rift (08h46.com)
25 points by gnocchi on Oct 29, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

I think it's interesting and strange that people are thinking that this is tasteless or offensive. A lot of that is probably coming from a mental picture of the Rift or VR as inherently like an amusement park ride or "fun entertainment," as if the medium was incapable of being anything more.

This probably happens every generation of new narrative mediums.

Can a videogame portray a tragic event in a tasteful way, or must it always end up as a trivialization of it? Can a movie portray a tragic event in a tasteful way, or must it always end up as an exploitative popcorn flick? Can a novel portray a tragic event in a tasteful way, or must it always end up as a cheap pulpy page-turner?

I see these things as valuable in preserving history, even if artificial history based on reenactments and research. It is one thing for a person to hear or read about an event, and one much more likely to engender empathy to experience the event viscerally.

Specifically, it engenders empathy and reflection of a much higher degree.

Back before world war 1, many young soldiers went to the front with an eagerness and starry-eyed-ness born from insufficient knowledge about how war really looked like. In this day and age only the most uneducated, or most strong-willed would happily go into battle, because we have plenty of media informing us of the reality of it.

Yes, this kind of thing may creep you out and make you feel really uncomfortable, but that is exactly the point.

If you don't have an Oculus, just watch the thing on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-yQfiyzSo Try and see what observations you pick up on that you never even thought about while reading it.

you nailed it. i didn't have the patience to try to articulate this. it's an unfamiliar medium for telling a story, and it's freaking people out.

just sounds so hypocritical and old fashioned to consider this tasteless or immoral. you're all starting to sound like your parents.

I'm very interested to see if this type of "narrative learning entertainment" catches on in any meaningful way. I could certainly see a market for "see the events of history through the eyes of someone who was there" as the next big edutainment trend.

I vaguely remember a show/movie where people were traveling back in time to be at major events/tragedies similar to this.

In any case interesting and (to me) a little creepy at the same time. I'm sure (at least for me) with time the creepiness will wear off. Definitely an interesting take on this tech.

Well this is pretty tasteless.

Up next, drown aboard the Kursk.

That was kinda my knee jerk reaction too, but thinking about it more it's kinda a neat idea since stuff like this could be used in training and education. Maybe it didn't have to be 9/11 itself but not really sure how I feel about it yet.

it's pretty short sighted to call this tasteless. you could have, at the very least, tried to explain yourself.

My immediate reaction on seeing this is "You know, 9/11 actually happened and real people died". The Oculus here is giving the possibility of a sort of Disneyland ride experience for 9/11. And that's utterly tasteless.

Of course, this sort of thing is bound to happen as television has already led the way into a decent into utter tastelessness.

The team linked to their LinkedIn profiles and you can see that they roughly seem to have gone to universities in around 2010. Assuming they were 18 when they did that it means they were 9 years old when 9/11 happen IRL. It's probably just another historical event to them.

People born after 9/11 are just starting to gain their driver's licenses. 9/11 is by any rational definition pretty much "just another historical event" at this point. The fact that it continues to dictate so much of our political landscape to such detriment to so many Americans and world citizens is shameful.

surely then, you found Titanic (DiCaprio) & Pearl Harbor (Affleck) tasteless as well?

Isn't the equation tragedy + time = comedy?

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