YouTube launches ‘Project Witness’, using virtual reality as a tool to raise awareness of social issues
It is a somewhat heartbreaking experience – but important nonetheless.
This week, YouTube launched a new VR experience called ‘Project witness‘which aims to raise awareness of the conditions incarcerated children face and the significant impacts they can subsequently have on their lives.
As explained by Youtube:
“The VR film anchors the viewer in the experience of an incarcerated child. You can see and hear the experience of being in solitary confinement from the perspective of a child in an adult prison. YouTube is a platform. powerful form for much more than entertainment – from advocacy to education and awareness – which is open and accessible to all. Virtual reality is a unique format for drawing the viewer into the story. “
The film is certainly difficult, but it makes a strong point. And when we also consider that incarcerated young people are 39% less likely to complete high school, and more than 2/3 of children imprisoned recurrence within 12 months of liberation, the impacts of this system are very clear.
It’s also interesting to see how VR can be used as an immersive storytelling platform to communicate another perspective. Books and movies have been our best window to another human’s perspective so far, but virtual reality takes this to a whole new level, which can make it an even more efficient vehicle for communicate messages like this.
It could become increasingly important – with societal divisions seemingly exacerbated in recent times, perhaps a little hindsight will go a long way in changing people’s minds on a range of issues.
You can learn more about Project Witness and watch the VR video, here.