Remembering Pearl Harbor

Behind the Scenes

An extension of the iconic LIFE brand, LIFE VR is a virtual reality platform that offers immersive experiences and elevated storytelling capabilities from Time Inc.’s beloved brands. To honor the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, LIFE VR sought Deluxe VR to create an original historical virtual reality project in partnership with HTC and AMD. The resulting experience, Remembering Pearl Harbor, exhibited for two days following the December 7, 2016 anniversary at The Intrepid in New York City, later that month at The Newseum in Washington, D.C. and ran into 2017.

Our Objective

To create a historically accurate and educational virtual reality experience that enables a more human and personal understanding of this pivotal moment in American history.

The Narrative

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Told in three acts, Remembering Pearl Harbor is narrated by Lt. James Downing, the oldest living American veteran of the attack. As postmaster of the USS West Virginia, Downing gave himself the task of writing letters to the families of men who died or were injured. First recreating the civilian experiences of December 8 and 24, 1941, Remembering Pearl Harbor then goes from homefront to battlefront by placing the user within the chaos that followed the attack. In the final scene, you’re taken to Lt. Downing’s home to explore some of his own memorabilia and hear his thoughts on this pivotal moment after 75 years later. Throughout users are able to interact with true-to-life environments, photo-realistic recreations of artifacts, iconic photography and speeches, as well as archival video to create a visceral experience of both tragedy and aftermath.

The Impact

The result is a visceral, documentary representation of Pearl Harbor that challenges the perception of virtual reality as a solely videogame-focused technology. More to come.