Image is from http://www.chernobylvrproject.com/
Okay. So some background. I live in Sweden and that is not really a neighbor of Ukraine but close enough. This disaster affected all of Europe. And of course the people closest to this got affected the most. When I first saw the title of this VR project I was assuming it was just another VR game, making money on the name of Chernobyl. There have been movies etc in the past using the name of Chernobyl to attract attention.
But my first thought was wrong. This is actually a project where they talk about giving part of the profit to the victims of the disaster. You can find a lot of information about the project and the background if you visit their website http://www.chernobylvrproject.com/
Is it a game?
As far as I understood it this is more of an interactive documentary about Chernobyl. You will get to experience how the most affected zones look like. You get to enter some of the zones that are unavailable for visits but since they were doing documentary materials they got access. And it seems like a big part of the "game" is the abandoned city of Pripayt. A city that got abandoned within days after the explosion. That city had 50 000 citizens. Now that is a ghost town.
You might find a few surprises that they have added as well. I have no idea what it means, will there be horror aspects to this project? It sure won't be a happy place that you will visit. This is probably more of a game than I think but they are looking to educate the players about the horrific things that happened 30 years ago.
From 1st of July 2016 this was made available for the Oculus Rift. It will be compatible with PlayStation VR, HTC Vive and the Samsung VR. This is seriously what I have been thinking about when it comes to VR. A mix of a game and a movie - an interactive movie. Documentaries are the perfect genre as well.
Just wait until AR (augmented reality) is becoming bigger. Then I assume that you will be able to walk around in cities with one eye in the AR device. Then you would be able to see the normal world with your normal eye and in the one with the AR device, you would see how the world looked like at this historical time. Perhaps some historical event. Imagine walking around in Colosseum watching what happened a long time ago.
The video below shows a lot of the work they did when creating this VR experience. It is absolutely worth watching.
Let's hope that this project encourages more studios to create interactive documentaries. That is awesome in my opinion. And of course, let's hope that this will generate some funds for the victims of this disaster. Scientists are still not sure about the ramifications of this disaster, how much it has affected us europeans afterwards.