Virtual reality has started to hold a place in the hearts of people that like fantasy and good stories. It has already been accepted into the gaming world as a staple technology for the gamers’ experience. When it came to the Festival Tous Ecrans in Europe, there were many VR products on display. There were many events dedicated to this exciting new forefront.
The World VR Forum participated in the many panels that were offered at the festival. One of the most intriguing ones was the potential that VR has in the field of journalism. In a world where the public is becoming increasingly apathetic to news, where they are inundated with stories that bear no relevance to their lives, VR is seeking to break down that barrier through VR.
The discussion at the Journalism: Virtual Meets Reality panel was led by WVRF’s founder. The panelists were from around the globe. They were people that worked either in journalism or VR already. The topic was to explore how to branch out VR into more practical applications in modern life than just storytelling.
The VR future seems like it could have applications in the real world, according to participants. The VR panelists are ones that see how journalism could be improved through VR.
People can learn about a story by experiencing it more vividly. VR, of course, has the potential to ignite all of the senses.
Of course, the ethical and practical questions emerged during the talks. The exploratory nature of the technology also lent itself to a vigorous discussion among the industry leaders. One of the more interesting questions was if there is a boundary between journalism and video games.
There is certainly a lot to be said on this topic. What works in a fantasy land might be too jarring if the collision is with reality. Imagine being transported to a war-torn setting, or a VR journalism experience where you are even in the heat of the battle?
These are places that many journalists even fear to tread. Their trade is supposed to help them illuminate even hard realities, but not many people would be willing to put on a bulletproof vest and head into an area where shots are whizzing back and forth.
The panelists also discussed whether the analytic side of a story would be lost with this form of journalism. The journalist is the narrator but often the lens through which the public interprets difficult realities. Journalists are meant to be objective, and this is why they aim to present both sides of the story. However, when the story is just experienced by the viewer, does the viewer have the wherewithal to see the other side?
Journalism is undoubtedly changing in this day and age. The Internet was the first step to innovation and even citizen journalism. The alternative media arose in the form of YouTube videos and creators that didn’t necessarily hold conventional degrees. The world could continue to change if VR technology moves forward into a practical space.