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BBC to bring VR to more than 40 local libraries across the UK

Members of the public will be able to try out a range of the BBC’s VR experiences, including Congo VR

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Britain’s main public service broadcaster is taking its virtual reality (VR) experiences on tour this summer at over forty participating libraries around the country, in partnership with Libraries Connected and the Scottish Library and Information Council.

Members of the public will be able to try out a range of the BBC’s VR experiences, including Congo VR – a three-part news documentary that takes viewers into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, one of Africa’s most dangerous and beautiful countries – and 1943 Berlin Blitz, a film in which viewers join the Royal Air Force (RAF) on a bombing run during the Berlin Blitz.

Placed in the footsteps of BBC war reporter Wynford Vaughan-Thomas and sound recordist Reg Pidsley, who genuinely went on this mission in 1943, viewers will experience sitting in the belly of Lancaster bomber ‘F for Freddie’ as VR transports them high over Berlin in the midst of anti-aircraft fire. Wynford’s commentary was one of the most ambitious and dangerous reports to be made during World War Two, and viewers can step into his shoes to experience war reporting as never before.

Some libraries will also be showing the BBC’s People Just Do Nothing VR, a short 360° version of the hit sitcom. Viewers have been kidnapped by Chabuddy G and the Kurupt FM crew, and are sat on the sofa of Steves’ flat while MC Grindah and DJ Beats run through a hit to try and convince you to sign them to your record label.

“Virtual reality is an extraordinary way to experience a story, by immersing yourself in it completely you get a huge connection to it,” Zillah Watson, head of BBC VR Hub, said in a statement. “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 favorite 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.”

Fans keen to try out virtual reality from the BBC can find out if their local library is showing on this online schedule, which will be updated each week with details of where the tour is heading next: https://canvas-story.bbcrewind.co.uk/sites/bbcvrtour/

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Naomi Smith
Naomi is a UK-based Journalist, writer and online content creator with around six years experience. She has a master's degree in investigative journalism and experience working as a beat reporter, primarily covering aviation law, regulation and politics. She has written for online publications on a variety of topics, including politics, gaming and film.