It may seem like science fiction but wider access to virtual worlds are on the horizon. In fact, with a little bit of cardboard and an Android phone you can visit places like the Grand Canyon right now.
Journalists and publications are stepping into this new medium to bring us stories like “Walking New York,” in which the New York Times Magazine invites viewers to visit the sidewalks of New York and read about people who love those streets. Virtual reality is also being used to recreate stories in the headlines like the death of Trayvon Martin. But it’s not just about placing viewers in virtual worlds and letting them explore. Projects like the Des Moines Register’s “Harvest of Change” uses text, graphics and sound to create a journalistic experience that is truly immersive. But journalists don’t necessarily have to go it alone.