Woody Guthrie Center Takes Visitors Back To The Dust Bowl-Era With Virtual Reality

Experience the infamous Black Sunday in VR.

Exploring different time periods is definitely one of the most fascinating aspects of virtual reality (VR). We’ll never be able to hop back in time 20, 40, or 100 years, but modern technology can replicate the experience. Town layouts, street signs, and weather can all be replicated in VR, and together can be used to create immersive experiences that can give viewers a true to life representation of what it may have been like to live there long ago. Now, the Woody Guthrie Center is debuting a brand new VR experience built to help you what understand what life was like in Dust Bowl America.

For those who don’t know, the Dust Bowl era, also known as the Dirty Thirties, was a period where servere dust storms damaged American and Canadian ecology and agriculture during the 1930s. There were even severe droughts that in some places lasted eight years, severely harming the people living nearby. Some dust clouds even travelled to New York City and Washington DC, making it a problem that effected the entire country.

The new VR experience will be multisensory, and will mimic an approaching dust storm, Tulsa World reports. Deana McCloud is the executive director of the Woody Guthrie Center, and explains why they chose VR for this experience; “Rather than viewing the events on a flat video screen, we want for the user to feel as if he or she is actually part of the scene and fully experience the impact of this man-made ecological disaster.”

The experience will follow Black Sunday, which takes place on April 14th 1935, which had one of the worst dust storms in US history. In VR, users will be able to view the action on the western Oklahoma prairie as the horizon darkens and the massive storm approaches, swallowing up homes, along with the audience.

The experience should be available on the Woody Guthrie Center’s fifth anniversary celebration, opening April 24th to the public. McCloud said of the event; “As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of Woody’s work returning to his home state, we are proud to focus on the theme ‘This Land is Your Land’ as we promote Woody’s message of diversity, equality and social justice.”

We’ll report on all of the interesting VR experiences we hear about, so make sure to keep reading VRFocus for all of the latest high tech experiences.

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