Someone call Charlie Brooker because it looks like Black Mirror has come to life again. This time, there’s a harrowing new TV show that brings the dead back to life in virtual reality form.
The death of any relative is a tough experience, but just imagine the heartache of losing your seven-year-old child in tragic circumstances. Grieving and acceptance is also an important part of moving on, however, a South Korean show is offering participants one last chance to say goodbye.
Enter I Met You and an experience that’s sure to have you sobbing. Jang Ji-sung is seen wearing VR gloves and a headset, which renders a creation of her daughter, Nayeon. However, tragedy soon follows as the show reveals Nayeon died in 2016 from an incurable disease.
According to Aju Business Daily, the documentary team spent eight painstaking months recreating Nayeon and copied her actual voice. The luscious background of a green park was also in the scene as the pair celebrated what would’ve been Nayeon’s birthday.
A child model was used for motion capture, but the aesthetic and vocals were modelled on Nayeon. Jang said, “Maybe it’s a real paradise. I met Nayeon, who called me with a smile, for a very short time, but it’s a very happy time. I think I’ve had the dream I’ve always wanted.”
It was hard to hold back the tears as VR Nayeon asked her mother if she thinks about her. An emotional Jang responded, “I do all the time”. The pair embrace and Nayeon gives her mum flowers before she says, “Mommy, you can see that I’m not hurting anymore, right?”
It ended with Nayeon heading off into the VR field where she went into a peaceful sleep. While Jang was the one to experience the heartfelt simulation, it was also filmed in front of her husband and the rest of the family.
After appearing on the show, Jang wrote in a blog (which has since been shut down) and explained how she hoped this sort of technology would help “someone who has lost a child like me, or who has lost a brother or a parent”.
She continued, “Three years later, I now think I should love her more than I miss her… so that I can be confident when I meet her later. I hope many people will remember Nayeon after watching the show.”
It’s basically a combination of several Black Mirror episodes, essentially setting up a future installment. By taking elements of the fan-favourite “San Junipero” and “Be Right Back”, the whole thing is a little too Black Mirror for some people’s liking.
A Futurism article speculates this kind of experience could soon become the norm. The site explains how there are a number of startups already creating virtual avatars and chatbots based on photographs, memories, and likenesses of the deceased.
So, how do you feel about Black Mirror come To life? An adorable way to remember those you’ve loved or a sick way for companies to cash in on our grief? You decide for yourself!
[Featured Image: Channel 4/MBC]