Five years ago, when 3D TV was the big technological fad, many people rightly questioned whether it would actually catch on. The same accusation has frequently been levelled at virtual reality, but the latest move from newspaper The Guardian could be a concrete demonstration that VR is in fact here to stay.

Guardian News & Media, responsible for The Guardian and The Observer newspapers, has launched a team dedicated exclusively to virtual reality. The team will work across the full range of The Guardian’s services and output, looking to harness and create immersive experiences that will both help journalists tell their stories and help advertisers to reach their customers. Executive Director Francesca Panetta said of the move that “virtual reality and interactive content offer an extra dimension to storytelling in journalism and we’re thrilled to have been able to create a team that is truly dedicated to projects of this nature”.

virtual reality Guardian image(Image credit: The Guardian)

The recent commercial launch of Oculus Rift has brought virtual reality well and truly into the home, particularly for gaming. However, this move from The Guardian demonstrates that VR technology is unlikely to be restricted to teenagers playing Call of Duty. By setting up their own VR team, The Guardian is harnessing the true power of this immersive technology, giving readers the opportunity to step inside a news story and gain a new perspective. Their first project? ‘6×9’, a first-person VR experience that demonstrates the psychological trauma of solitary confinement in the US prison system.