VRTogether launches to raise awareness and drive change through immersive media

People are often asking how VR is going to make them money. Creatives from companies including Rewind, Emblematic, m ss ng p eces and Raindance have decided to ask instead how immersive media can be used to effect change.

Launched today, VRTogether aims to use social media to bring together a community of people to want to use VR to make a difference.  Based on evidence that VR has been used to treat conditions including autism, PTSD, depression, anxiety and even promote recovery in paraplegics, VRTogether is a platform to encourage people to utilise this power for positive social impact.

The nonprofit initiative allows people to connect and engage with each other via the website. Organisations and individuals looking for production studios, research partners, ideas or advice, will be able to post their work – and those with the expertise needed can offer help. VRTogether hopes that by working together, important projects can become a reality.

Founded by Daryl Atkins, creative director at Rewind, VRTogether’s board of advisors includes Nonny de la Peña, CEO of Emblematic Group, Mária Rakušanová, director of VR and New Media at Raindance Film Festival, Catherine Day, head of AR/VR at m ss ng p eces, and Sol Rogers, CEO/founder of Rewind.

“Together, we all recognise VR has the potential to do what many hoped the first film camera would do – make it impossible to turn a blind eye to suffering, injustice, and ignorance,” said Catherine Day. “There’s no way to turn a blind eye in VR, and because it is consumed digitally, and mostly via mobile, we can immediately take action before the transient moment of inspiration to do so has expired. Cause-based VR was the first genre to prove the power of the medium to the masses, the first to win awards, and if we continue to believe in one another’s dreams and help each other to realise them, pro-social and environmental VR will continue to sustain and advance immersive storytelling.”

The platform has launched today with a live project from Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC). 

“VR is a great tool to get the public involved with the issue and brings us a step closer to stopping whale and dolphin captivity for good,” said Chris Butler-Stroud, chief executive at WDC. “Whales and dolphins are smart, powerful, and highly mobile creatures, and an existence in a barren concrete tank, away from their family and with little room to swim is cruel and no substitute for the ocean. By using virtual reality, we can create an experience that enables people to see life from a whale or dolphin’s eyes, and can educate them about the sad contrast between life in a concrete tank and life in the ocean. By signing up to VRTogether you can help us to make a real change through technology.’”

“The way VR Together is wedding the inspired community of conscious VR makers together is unparalleled, because it has built the infrastructure we need to support one another in our endeavours to create impactful work at this powerful nexus of tech and media,” said Day.

VRTogether founder Daryl Atkins urged people to get involved.

“Virtual Reality technology provides a compelling new way of telling stories and engaging people,” he said. “The stories that need telling the most are often the most difficult to get off the ground. We felt that amongst the day-to-day commercial projects that helped create the industry, we had a social responsibility to give something back to the wider community.  We’re asking people to invest a little time to create content which has the power to make a difference. The infrastructure has been built, now it needs to be populated.”

For more information, visit vrtogether.org

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