Many people are skeptical of Virtual Reality, despite the fact that it can do so much for us. Recently, a bereaved mother was reunited with her seven-year-old daughter after losing her to an incurable disease more than three years ago. Today, Jang Ji-sung was able to reconnect with her lost child, thanks to a VR production team who spent eight months putting the moment together. VR reunited a mother with her deceased child, but can it reconnect us to our religious leaders?
The moment Jang Ji-sung saw her daughter
Jang Ji-sung was fitted with a pair of VR goggles and gloves that are able to produce haptic feedback as the user interacts with the VR environment. According to Aju Business Daily, the team behind the production set the reunion up in a virtual recreation of a park that the mother and daughter used to visit in the real world. They then recorded the movements of a child actors using motion capture technology, to be used as the model for the VR Nayeon.
Jang Ji-sung and Nayeon picked flowers together, interacted, and even celebrated Nayeon’s birthday. You can watch the video of the moment below – it’s truly impossible not to get a real sense of emotion that the mother was going through, whether you speak Korean or not.
It’s moments like these that remind us of how powerful technology can actually be. “Maybe it’s a real paradise,” said Jang. “I met Nayeon, who called me with a smile, for a very short time, but it’s a very happy time. I think I’ve had the dream I’ve always wanted.”
Can religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or Judaism benefit from VR too?
After watching the video, another idea occurred to me. Jang Ji-sung’s story is extremely heartfelt and touching, and this concept could also be applied to others. Imagine meeting not just lost loved ones, but religious figures like Jesus, Mohammad, Moses or the Buddha.
Religion is incredibly powerful. Many of us underplay the role that religion has in our lives, whether we subscribe to a faith or not. In fact much of our morality, and our daily actions, is informed by ancient religious practices.
VR could provide a way for us to reconnect with our faiths. Imagine how powerful it would be to engage with a religious figure in a VR environment. The kind of impact that could have on us, not just individually but as a society, is monumental.
The power of the faithful meeting the object of their devotion, in virtual reality no less, is immense. In fact, it’s something that even those of us who are Atheist or Agnostic, may want to experience in our lives – at least once.
VR reunited a mother with her deceased child, but can religions such as Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, or Judaism benefit from VR too? Absolutely – and it has the power to drive immense change, and reconnect us with our faiths and religious identities.
A heartfelt moment
Ultimately, the takeaway from this video should be one of deep compassion for the mother of this late little girl. Losing a child is an exceptionally unique pain – one that most of us will likely never know. VR reunited a mother with her deceased child, but can it reconnect us to our religious leaders? Categorically yes. Faith is a hugely powerful driver behind how we live our lives, whether we are followers of a specific religion or not. Imagine the effect that meeting a religious icon in VR could have.