Vancouver beach virtually destroyed by oil tanker spill with innovative technology stunt

VANCOUVER – Citizen group Dogwood Initiative illustrated the catastrophic damage an oil spill could cause to British Columbia’s coast with an innovative digital art installation in English Bay today. No wildlife were harmed in the making of the stunt, which used a virtual reality headset hidden inside an old-fashioned set of coin-operated sightseeing binoculars to depict the aftermath of an oil spill.

Unsuspecting viewers were immersed in an animated 3D depiction of a scenario featuring a dying orca whale, bitumen-soaked sand, black smoke billowing into the sky from flaming pools of oil and spill vessels attempting to contain approximately 500 metric tonnes of crude leaking from a crippled tanker.

“We wanted to show people what’s at stake, but also remind citizens that this is only one possible future,” said Kai Nagata, Dogwood’s Energy & Democracy director. “The fate of these pipeline and oil tanker proposals is really up to us, the voters.”

The scene was created by local game developers Adrian Crook & Associates and Factory 1 Studios and provides a dark but realistic view of the damage that could be caused by an oil spill in English Bay. The Oculus Rift headset, the technology used typically for video games, allows the user to seamlessly move around inside a virtual landscape. “What it can’t show,” said Nagata, “is all the bitumen that would sink to the bottom as toxic gases separate from heavier compounds and waft into these neighbourhoods. Hopefully that never happens in Vancouver.”

With municipal elections coming up Saturday, November 15, Dogwood Initiative is encouraging voters to support candidates fighting crude oil exports through British Columbia. One of these proposals, backed by Texas-based Kinder Morgan, would load nearly a million barrels of crude every day onto tankers sailing Vancouver’s busy harbour.

Survey responses from candidates in municipalities across the province can be found on the Local Vote 2014 website.

Image kit:

Oculus Rift headset real life image 1
Oculus Rift headset real life image 2
Oculus Rift headset real life image 3
Oculus Rift headset real life image 4
Oculus Rift headset panorama still 1
Oculus Rift headset panorama still 2

For more information please contact:

Lyndsey Easton
Communications Coordinator
Phone: 250-370-9930 x 29