"We wanted to bring viewers a sense how it feels when your hometown and everything that you cherish there gets destroyed. Like those people who are forced to leave their own country as refugees," Yle editor and anchor Peter Westerholm relayed."That's as close to hell on earth as you may imagine," Finnish rapper Karri 'Paleface' Miettinen told Yle after the experience.
The video "Aleppo-Helsinki" is the first known experiment of this kind in Finland and arguably the first case where virtual reality has been used in journalism. Teatime Research CSO Aleksis Karme said that in the project his team wanted to take the experience a step further, calling it "immersive journalism."
"Virtual reality opens new opportunities for storytelling. There, you will experience the situations themselves, instead of just reading about or looking at them. There is a huge potential here in terms of the future," Peter Westerholm pointed out.
"At the moment, virtual worlds are mostly utilized in games and various industries," Aleksis Karme said.
The VR technology is expected to bring benefits to sectors such as science, where it could be used for teaching and visualization. According to Karme, there is also a clear potential for VR technology in remote management applications in the shipping business.
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