PlayStation recently announced via their blog that they would be releasing Chernobyl VR Project, an interactive journey to the abandoned Pripyat and its nearby nuclear power plant. The project, which will merge interactive experiences with educational elements, is an effort by PlayStation to allow you to “understand the tragedy through the stories of the people who lived there before and after the tragedy”.
They want to “convey what it was like to actually be there”, and have achieved this through a visual tour of the Chernobyl and Pripyat area. They scanned and filmed areas in Chernobyl, such as the plant, the Duga Radar and the amusement park. However, they additionally documented lesser known places. PlayStation state that within the experience, “you can spot everyday objects left behind by the populace during the evacuation, as they were told they’d return in a few days. 30 years later we came across rooms that seemed frozen in time, untouched since they were originally vacated”.
Apparently, documenting the area as thoroughly as PlayStation wanted to brought its own risks, but they were intent on capturing the area as accurately as they could, due to the area’s continuing decay. They state that the intention behind the VR experience is to “serve as a document to the place, the stories behind it and the people who lived there”.
The Chernobyl disaster happened on April 26 1986 when Reactor Four at the plant failed. 135,000 people were immediately evacuated from the surrounding area as a temporary measure, but 31 years on, the area is still abandoned. The total death toll and longterm effects of the disaster still remain unknown. There have been many other efforts to document Chernobyl and remember the legacy of the disaster through art and photography. There isn’t yet a release date for the experience, but it will be be available in the near future.