The Emblematic Group took all the facts of this case along with eye-witness testimony, audio from recorded 911 calls and detailed architectural renderings to recreate an authentic virtual environment of the night 17 year old Trayvon Martin was gunned down by George Zimmerman. Seasoned journalist Nonny de la Peña and her team are to be applauded for accuracy and innovative storytelling, but I wonder what will happen if others creating VR storytelling have a bias. It would be difficult to avoid feeling the same bias in the compelling way you experience this form of virtual reality.
We are going to be seeing a lot more of this new virtual reality method to tell stories, especially those which have gripped everyone’s attention. It took just a couple of weeks to create the One Dark Night app with three people working on it.
The VR reenactment allows you to stand in the shoes of Trayvon Martin while buying candy at the local store. Another perspective plays out the experience the moment George Zimmerman decided against police advice to pursue. The portion that got my heart rate thumping is from the nearby neighbor’s advantage hearing the commotion leading up to the killing while on a 911 call on the dark rainy night in the Sanford, Florida condo complex.
You want to flinch while wearing the Samsung Gear VR headset and running the One Dark Night app when the flash and pop of Zimmerman’s gun takes the life of unarmed Martin. Zimmerman was later acquitted in 2013 under Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.
I thought I knew what happened in the tragic Trayvon Martin killing, but the video from some scenes of this VR reenactment did what Nonny wants. By doing this VR reenactment One Dark Night, she hopes to bring people closer to sensitive cases like this one. The One Dark Night app is available in the Google Play store and you can see excerpts of the footage Emblematic Group provided us exclusively.