In the age of the internet and information at our fingertips, the traditional library may seem a little antiquated but they still have a purpose in our fast-paced modern society. And to help encourage more people to head to their local library this Spring is the BBC, adding a 21st-century flavour to all the books by touring the UK with its latest virtual reality (VR) experiences.
The BBC VR Hub team will be taking a mixture of VR content to over 40 libraries around the country, heading to a number of locations in Lancashire this week, including Tarleton, Skelmersdale, Eccleston and Adlington, before moving on to Nuneaton, Leeds, Dundee and a whole host of others across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Virtual reality is an extraordinary way to experience a story, by immersing yourself in it completely you get a huge connection to it,” says Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub. “The trouble is that headsets are expensive, and only a very small number of people have them at home. That’s why we wanted to bring some of our favourite experiences out on the road, and by putting them into local libraries across the UK we’re hoping to give everyone the chance to try out virtual reality.”
There will be three titles on the tour, with 1943 Berlin Blitz and Congo VR available at every location with a select number also showcasing People Just Do Nothing VR. 1943 Berlin Blitz launched for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive in October 2018, putting viewers in the shoes of Wynford Vaughan-Thomas, a BBC war correspondent and sound recordist, Reg Pidsley, as they documented their flight on a genuine bombing run during World War 2.
Congo VR was another 2018 release, this time on the BBC VR app for Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go. It is a three-part news documentary series following BBC Africa correspondent Alastair Leithead on assignment in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. People Just Do Nothing VR is much more light-hearted, a 360-degree version of the comedy series.
The BBC VR tour begins today, to see which libraries will be on the tour head to the official website for further info. As the BBC continues to release new VR content like the new Doctor Who: Runaway animation short, VRFocus will keep you updated.