The Guardian is virtually puting you in a 6x9 solitary confinement cell

by: Randy -
More On: 6x9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement

Daily newspaper The Guardian is onto something. It's taking real-world issues and turning them into virtual reality experiences. The intention is to make known distressing issues in global politics by putting people—at least people's psyche—into a particular headspace. This is virtual journalism.

The first one (not sure yet if there will be more) is called 6x9: A Virtual Experience of Solitary Confinement. From the title alone, I think you get the idea. Are you ever going to be put into solitary confinement? I hope not. But does it sound so bad? Does solitary confinement sound like a terrible fate for a human being? What happens to a person that spends 23 hours a day in a six-foot by nine-foot cell? What if you're there for 90 days, say, three months? What if you're there for years? There's no way for the average person to know. And while 6x9 isn't going to strap your VR headset to our face for a decade of solitary, perhaps it only takes a few minutes for us to start to understand. 

I'm going to admit: I don't understand. I can't grasp what it would mean to be in solitary confinement for 10 minutes, let alone 10 months, or 10 years. The Guardian enhances the experience with stories of people that were incarcerated in solitary confinement, and injects the 360-degree view with their reality-horror. Is that a genre already? Because if not, I'm making it one. Reality-horror. 

Instructions for getting 6x9 are on The Guardian's website. Below is a 360 video for a sample of the psychological damage inmates go through. I watched it once, looking around the room. My chest is still pounding.

6x9 is available on iPhone and Android, best experienced, I'm guessing, with something like Google Cardboard to serve as a VR headset.