Watch this British WW2 veteran visit the town he liberated in VR

Armentières is a tiny town in the North of France which sits on the Belgian border. It’s the type of place you’d drive through without stopping. It is a thoroughly ordinary, unremarkable place. But for one 91-year-old, it’s a place of upmost significance.

Frank Mouqué is a decorated veteran who fought in the European theater of World War 2. He was one of the Allied troops who fought to liberate it from Nazi occupation in 1944. But at his advanced age, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever get to visit it again.

But with VR, he can.

Twine, the international marketplace for creatives, took a trip to Armentières with a 360-degrees camera. There, they met with the Mayor of the town, who gave Mouqué the Medal of Armentiéres for his service during the war. Locals were interviewed, and local children put on a musical performance for him.

It’s touching stuff. From the moment Frank Mouqué takes off the headset, it’s obvious that he’s deeply moved by the experience.

As a technology journalist, and as a software developer, it’s easy to think of VR as merely specifications on the back of a box. But what makes VR so truly special isn’t just refresh rates and pixel densities. It’s the fact that it can create experiences that matter. Experiences that move people, and create an emotional reaction.

I’m sorry, is someone chopping onions in the office?

World War Two veteran uses VR for first time (Remembrance Day, 2016) on Twine

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