"Project Syria" uses virtual reality techniques to give people a sense for some of the suffering that is happening...

“Project Syria” uses virtual reality techniques to give people a sense for some of the suffering that is happening…

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“Project Syria” uses virtual reality techniques to give people a sense for some of the suffering that is happening in Syria right now. 

The software is couple with a 

Smith explained the difference between a VR experience and your everyday news broadcast:

“In Project Syria, the user is much more of an active participant in the story as opposed to a passive consumer of it,” he said. “You can choose where to walk, where to look, and this agency gives you a sense of purpose.”

“At the same time, there is some removal of reality because the virtual world is digitally animated,” Smith continued. “It changes your sense of self and your sense of space, but you still retain your sense of physical reality outside of the simulation—you have a strange sort of dual consciousness.”

A New Virtual Reality Tool Brings the Daily Trauma of the Syrian War to Life


I happened upon this writeup of Project Syria just a few minutes after seeing David Amerland’s post about brain-to-brain communication via EEG signals: 


And Dan Durrant’s post on the same topic, where he speculates on using technology like this to help increase our sense of compassion for fellow humans and other forms of life (in his comments): 


There is no question that VR and machine-to-brain communications will be used for nefarious purposes, but it will also be used for many good purposes. Technology itself is neutral. We determine the impact through the intentions that we imbue in our use of it. 

#vr   #virtualreality   #journalism  

P.S. – also see this piece on using VR to help people overcome past traumas.

“While it remains impossible to un-do something that has already occurred, results of this study suggest that… virtual reality techniques can be usefully harnessed to promote greater acceptance of one’s own mistakes in the past, as well as better decision-making in the future.”

Study creates ‘time travel’ illusion




  1. Wow, Gideon Rosenblatt 

    This is very much like what I was thinking. Powerful. Thanks.

  2. Gideon Rosenblatt this is such a great share. 

  3. I love the idea, but I’m not sold on the execution. From the few shots they show of the visualization I doubt if it’s sufficiently immersive. Some interviews with first time users of the system would have helped.

  4. Max Huijgen Hey Max:  It is deceiving how successful this type of immersion is based on video.  But having put hundreds of people through it, including a 5 day run at the Victoria and Albert museum, I can assure you it is profoundly experiential.  As evidence, the event at Project Syria was not advertised so any one who tried it came upon the installation having no idea what they were going to experience.  We ended up with 54 pages of guest book notes, which I was told was the most outpouring a curator had seen!

  5. Tnx for getting back to me Nonny de la Peña 

  6. Yes, thanks for weighing in with your experience, Nonny de la Peña. If we can use the technology to increase our empathy and understanding that will be a huge contribution. 

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