Google VR Broadcasts Pride Parades Around the World For Those Who Can’t Attend
It is not possible for every LGBTQIA person across the planet to attend a Pride parade in their location. Maybe there aren’t any celebrations near them; maybe they live in one of the 70 countries where it’s a crime to come out; maybe they just don’t have the resources to get to an event near them. Or maybe they just want to see what it’s like to celebrate Pride in other parts of the world but lack the means to travel elsewhere in person.
Now, thanks to Google’s #Prideforeveryone project, you can attend Pride parades around the world in virtual reality.
This isn’t just a VR simulation of a Pride parade—these are real parades, documented with 3D cameras that have been stationed at events all across the planet this week. According to Google’s current map on their website, there are twenty cameras in use so far, grabbing footage from Pride marches in the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Columbia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, South Africa, India, China, South Korea, and Japan.
Yes, this is a great way for Google to get publicity about 3D video and Google cardboard, and also to use Pride events in order to demonstrate a show of compassion. I’m definitely not the only person with mixed feelings about projects like this; companies tend to only care about LGBTQIA folks when it benefits them.
That said, it’s undeniable that a project like this one is something that only a company like Google would be able to do, as depressing as that may be. They’ve got the resources and global reach to broadcast Pride events around the world, and the technology to make it possible for everyone to watch these events in stunning high-definition 3D video on a computer or phone or tablet. No matter how cynical I might be about Google, I still teared up watching their promotional video (embedded above) and thought about how important it is to increase accessibility to these events. Google has a lot of power here, but they are using that power in a way that does benefit people, at least in this case.
The #Prideforeveryone videos increase visibility of Pride and the experiences of the people there, and they do so without making any sort of statement beyond “this should exist and this should be accessible to as many people as possible.” Well, that, and the implicit suggestion to throw money at Google. But I’m just going to ignore that for the time being and instead feel grateful that I’m able to watch Pride events around the world.
(via Tech Times)
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