Japanese students have recreated the Hiroshima bombing scenes virtually to mark the 73rd anniversary of the tragedy. For over two years, this group of high school students worked to produce a 5-minute virtual reality experience that will recreate the sights and sounds of Hiroshima exactly as they were when the US dropped the atomic bomb in the city 73 years back.
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The aim behind creating this Hiroshima virtual bombing is to let users see the moments that the turned their city to a wasteland. By doing this, the students and teachers hope that they ensure something similar never happens again.
While recreating the Hiroshima bombing virtually, one student shared that she saw some buildings completely disappear after the bomb and that everything related to atomic bombs looks really scary. Another student revealed that even without language, they could just see the images to understand. And that it was one of the merits of a virtual reality experience.
With this experience that the Japanese students created, a user has to wear virtual reality headsets. It allow the user to take a walk down the Motoyasu River prior to the blast. All the businesses and buildings can be seen in their perfect shapes. The users can even enter the post office and Shima Hospital courtyard. Now the remains of this building are called the Atomic Bomb Dome. They still stand on the river banks as a testament to this tragedy.
In order to create this virtual bombing experience, the students studied old photographs as well as postcards. They even interviewed the survivors of the bombing to know what they heard and what they felt. The students then used computer graphics software to add details of lighting, and tearing of buildings.
When the survivors were asked for feedback on the virtual experience, they felt nostalgic. And applauded the students for recreating it very well. With the survivors reminiscing their memories from that time, the team feels proud of their creation.
In order to recreate this experience, the students worked in classrooms without air conditioners in the summer heat. But since the survivors were aging, it was their race against time.