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Can Virtual Reality Save the Elephants?

Michael Williams, Coordinator, Partnership Marketing, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

Virtual reality is certainly adding another dimension to the entertainment experience. Headsets create a level of intimacy between the viewer and actor in the frame, making viewers feel like they are in the middle of the action. But did you know that VR can be an important activism tactic?

Directed by Academy Award-winner Kathryn Bigelow and Imraan Ismail, the eight-minute VR film “The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes” follows rangers working in Congo’s Garamba National Park, putting viewers in the rangers’ shoes and highlighting the uncomfortable, even gruesome scenes they encounter. These rangers risk their lives every day as they try to stop poachers from killing elephants. At the current rate of poaching, African Elephants could be extinct within 10 years.

Ismail hopes the film raises awareness of the rangers’ fight to end elephant poaching. The film is now available to Gear VR, Oculus Rift and HTC Vive owners. Watch the video below to see how virtual reality can promote change.