Chris Milk’s TED talk last year popularized the idea that virtual reality has the potential to be the ultimate ‘empathy machine.’ Emblematic Group’s Nonny de la Peña has been one of the original pioneers of exploring empathy in VR through a series of immersive journalism pieces ranging from torture in Guantanamo Bay, homelessness in LA, the Syrian refugee crisis, and most recently domestic violence with Kiya and what it’s like to walk through an abortion clinic protest with Across the Line. I had a chance to catch up with Nonny at Sundance to get more insight into how she cultivates empathy within VR, but also why she’s so motivated to always stand up for the underdog within her work.
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Theme music: “Fatality” by Tigoolio