Take a deep dive into this case study to discover how potential visitors feel about travel-based virtual reality experiences.
Four Walls documents a trip actress/producer/writer Rashida Jones made to Lebanon with International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global humanitarian aid, relief and development nongovernmental organization working in the region.
Jones saw first-hand the difficult living conditions of some of the 1.5 million displaced Syrian refugees. What Jones bears witness to can be experienced in vivid VR on desktop and mobile. YouVisit’s cameras capture life in makeshift tent camps and mold-ridden buildings. Jones’ conversations with refugees reveal their frustration of living in limbo and not knowing when–or if–they will be able to return home.
Four Walls, which is IRC’s first VR movie (embedded below), shows, not tells, the extreme hardship Syrian refugees are enduring, and underlines the need for aid in the war-torn region. At any point during Four Walls viewers can contribute to IRC by clicking a prominent donation button. A revolutionary and powerful tool for nonprofits, the functionality allows viewers to immediately help the people standing before their eyes.
At the beginning of Four Walls, Jones, an IRC Voice, says, “I personally felt it was important for me to come because I’ve been disheartened by the current conversation around refugees. Fear, apathy, distrust and a lack of information have distanced us from the reality of what it’s like to be a refugee.”
“We were impressed by their willingness, excitement and energy to help us tell this important story in an immersive way,” says IRC Executive Producer Cathe Neukum of the partnership with YouVisit. “It’s critical to have the right creative partner — especially when experimenting with such a new medium — and YouVisit knew we wanted to get into this space.”
In an essay published in Vanity Fair, Jones wrote, “VR, if used correctly, might be the equivalent of a good, firm shoulder shake from a friend who cares about you. Or the visual cue to wake up, to remind you that your small world is not the only reality.”
Donations to support IRC’s work on behalf of Syrian refugees can be made here. As Jones urges the audience in Four Walls, “Do anything as long as you do something.”