Marrying VR technology with first-hand survivor testimony from Hiroshima, virtual reality experience The Day the World Changed is set to premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. The result of a winning partnership between Tomorrow Never Knows, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Nobel Media and the Saul Zaentz Innovation Fund in Film and Media Studies at Johns Hopkins University, The Day the World Changed promises to shine a grim spotlight on the horrific consequences of nuclear war.
Beginning as a commission by Nobel Media, whose hope was to showcase the humanitarian work of ICAN, this VR experience presents, through three interactive chapters, a historical retelling of the atomic bomb, from its first ever use as a weapon of mass murder, to the nuclear arms race in its aftermath. Creators Gabo Arora and Saschka Unseld, along with producer Jennifer Tiexiera, have come together to create an “unwavering, uncomfortable experience” that will force participants to stare into the gritty reality that is nuclear war, and to combat the detachment that our “fetishization of nuclear superiority” has spurred on.
Opening with the circumstances that led to the development of the first atomic bomb, and the subsequent decision on behalf of the United States government to drop said bomb on Hiroshima, the first chapter will serve as the backbone, providing a basis of understanding for participants.
Leading into the second chapter armed with the knowledge garnered from the first, they will then be allowed to walk through the aftermath of the August 6th, 1945 bombing, which resulted in the heinous deaths of over 90,000 people. Participants will be able to experience the consequences of these horrors first hand as they walk through the virtual ruins of the last standing structure in Hiroshima.
Finally, The Day the World Changed will return to the present through the resulting arms race, in an effort to espouse to participants the very precarious position we are all in, how close we are at any moment to another unspeakable tragedy, and the importance of public advocacy in the pursuit of abolishing nuclear weapons.
With an admirable message and the goal of elevating immersive storytelling through the use of VR technology, The Day the World Changed signifies the merits of virtual reality in crossing personal and geographical borders in the pursuit of sharing experiences. Premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival, The Day the World Changed is planned to run from April 20th to 29th in the Virtual Arcade.