While the realm of virtual reality certainly holds many amazing promises, the ability to reconnect with loved ones that have unfortunately left us too early is one such feature that sounds like a positive, but is it really?
It’s an incredibly daunting thing, virtual reality. The digital trickery pulled on the human brain can often lead to some really uncomfortable and disturbing places, and I’m not talking about motion sickness. The Uncanny Valley that separates reality from fiction is a space few people have played around in, largely because it makes most of us feel so uncomfortable, but that hasn’t stopped some people from taking virtual reality a little too far.
I’m talking about a Korean TV special, entitled Meeting You, in which a mother was reunited with her deceased daughter. The documentary, which focused on a family dealing with the sudden loss of their seven-year-old daughter, went to a strange place when it ended with a prolonged sequence which saw the child’s mother interacting with her daughter as a VR simulation.
The simulation was a brief few minutes but featured a recreation of the girl with motion capture and audio samples to boot. The mother was even given touch-sensitive gloves and a full on greenscreen set to move around in.
I can’t exactly say how the experience went for the people involved but I have to wonder if the whole thing was entirely positive. What makes it more dubious is the fact that what could have been a very intimate moment and what was definitely a very painful moment was broadcast for public consumption.
Whatever the case may be, seeing a deceased loved one and interacting with them through virtual reality sounds like some strange dystopian invention you’d read about in a Phillip K. Dick novel. I suppose it was inevitable that VR would take us to dark places such as this, it’s just bizarre that it happened so soon.