Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Using Virtual Reality for More Impactful Science Reporting

Main Points:
·      The videogame industry is quickly outpacing all other digital entertainment industries in terms of revenue.
·      In 2015, Hollywood earned $11 billion in revenue (a record)
·      Meanwhile, in 2015 the video game industry earned 23.5 billionin revenue.
·      The video game industry, pioneers in immersion and story telling of a different kind, have advanced Virtual Reality more than any other industry.
·      If VGs can tell and immerse one in science fiction/fantasy, why cant it immerse us in science reality?
·      Science issues are difficult to understand, let alone conceptualize.
·      Since VR can take us to places we cannot ever visit, why shouldn’t we be employing it to explain science phenomena? Places that are too cold, too far, too small, too hot, too dangerous, too expensive… VR can work around all of this!
·      It is already being done; NYT VR has launched an initiative to focus more on VR.
·      NYT editor Sam Dolnick in charge of VR production.
·      Dennis Overbye, Times Science writer, “Seeking Pluto’s FridgedHeart” transports us to the 9th planet. You get to walk around on three different locations on the surface, fly over it with New Horizons.
·      Using NASA’s images from New Horizons, the Times graphics desk created the experience.
·      Pluto experience was created entirely by the Times Science desk. (first of its kind).
·      The Times has stated that it will be developing a series of these science stories: “Out There” deals with Space exploration, in 2016 they will develop “Climate Change in Antarctica,”
·      They have already produced VR dealing with swimming with wildmarine mammals in the ocean as well as one in which the user is transported tothe middle of a bison heard.
·      For important science stories, perhaps a VR experience could better communicate the gravity of something like climate change. If someone was able to walk around Antarctica and see the ice shelf disappear, perhaps the story would have a more profound effect.


Bilton, Ricardo. "The New York Times Is Trying to Make VR Films That Aren’t One-offs, and That Keep Readers Coming Back." Nieman Lab. May 6, 2016. Accessed May 18, 2016.

Brazilian, Emma. "New York Times Doubles Down on Virtual Reality at NewFronts." AdWeek. May 2, 2016. Accessed May 18, 2016.

Genzlinger, Neil. "Virtual Reality Movies Add Dimension to Tribeca Festival." The New York Times. April 18, 2016. Accessed May 18, 2016.



What do you think? Is VR bound to revolutionize science reporting? Do you think it would help you understand science phenomena? Would this have helped you in a science class? Is it worth it or could you get the same information/impact from a traditional science story (print, photos, video)?

No comments:

Post a Comment