The new virtual reality death simulator allows users to see what happens to them after they die

Shaun Gladwell, an Australian artist, has developed a VR program that allows his clients to experience “death” and an out-of-body experience in a very realistic environment. More and more artists like Gladwell are using AR and VR for experimental art projects.

As morbid and solemn as it is, there are some who find death very fascinating. People have often wondered what it is like to die and what happens to the body when you breathe one last time.

An artist has tried to answer this question and has his patrons simulate death thanks to virtual reality. The justification of the artist for such a morbid project? Well, virtual reality can help calm people’s afterlife fears.

Experience death in a virtual world
Shaun Gladwell, an artist, has created an immersive near-death experience that takes people through life’s de-escalation, from heart failure to brain death, and offers them a glimpse of what might happen in their final minutes.

The simulation also includes an out-of-body experience that allows users to gaze down at their deceased corpses as they hover over them.

One of the visitors to the exhibition who had the experience took to social media and explained that when he passed out, he was placed on a vibrating cot and saw the medics failed to revive him. He also explained that the experience could be worrying and that you could leave at any time.

come back from death
Many people have perished and returned to tell their stories, which typically include seeing a light at the end of a dark tunnel, hearing the voices of loved ones, and even hearing the cries of the damned.

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However, once the heart stops beating, there is no telling what lies ahead.

Gladwell believes an immersive world that depicts and simulates the sense of mortality will help people come to terms with the inevitable.

His Passing Electrical Storms installation can be seen at the Melbourne Now event in Australia, which is described as a “participatory XR experience with a deeply moving, ‘out of body’ character”.

Participants lie down on a replica medical bed, don an XR headset, and go through cardiac arrest, resuscitation, mortality, and an out-of-body experience that transcends life and planet Earth.

It is also said to be “meditative yet disturbing”.

Tech makes new art possible
Gladwell credits Leo Faber, senior producer of Factual and Culture at ABC, as “the only person who convinced me that the technology has gotten to a point where it’s practical to work in VR,” thanks to a study collaboration with Deakin University’s Motion Lab.

However, the software powering his exhibition is just the beginning of what senior NGV curator Ewan McEoin describes as a “deeply poignant experience.”

“We still think of virtual reality as a game.” However, Shaun didn’t create a game. Critics might mistakenly believe his work is about technology. It is not; It’s a vehicle to create, I believe, an incredibly engaging experience for the individual.”

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Date updated: March 28, 2023 13:02:38 IST