The virtual reality 9/11 experience is bad, but not for the reasons you’d expect

There’s something very complicated behind the recent negative reaction toward [08:46], a virtual reality “narrative driven experience” about the September 11th terrorist attacks.

Part of it seems like knee-jerk resistance to interactive media tackling sensitive topics, though people have both accepted and praised games that address things like terminal cancergender identity, and the Holocaust. Part of it involves the feeling that we’re not far enough from the attack to turn it into fiction, though that’s clearly not true for books, movies, and graphic novels. But the most interesting reaction is that this is a horrifying misapplication of one of the most hyped elements of VR: its capacity to create empathy.

After trying [08:46] myself last night, the truth is that it’s impossible to tell how we’d respond to a 9/11 simulator, because it’s just a bad 9/11 simulator. For a student project developed in three months,

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