Designing holistic experiences using virtual reality

Picture this…you’re walking through the city centre, you’re eyeballed by a fundraiser. Instantly you start thinking of potential excuses to avoid engagement…

“Sorry I don’t have time”

“got a meeting”

“already donating”

…or you choose to simply ignore them.

I know I’m guilty of at least one of the above.


Picture this…you’re walking through the city centre, you notice a group of fundraisers using virtual-reality headsets with someone just like yourself.

Curiosity strikes. You question what they are doing? As you approach, the fundraiser greets you and then you’re hooked in.

He hands you one of these VR headsets. You feel a bit more at ease. You are more open to discussion and curious to what you might interact with.

Not all suspicion is gone though, you still have this negative picture and lack of trust in your mind of a typical street fundraiser; asking for your name, address and direct debit details.

You’ve been handed the VR headset. As you move your head – war-torn streets, explosions and a softly spoken narrator explains the devastation caused by barrel bombs and the human lives that remain.

You’re experiencing the Syrian capital of Aleppo under siege. Amnesty’s virtual reality-themed 360Syria project.

Negativity surrounding the street fundraiser and your own worries now appear somewhat distant. Your emotions have been tapped and you’re engaged with the difficulties surrounding Syrians and the purpose of the fundraiser.