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This Charity Helped The Elderly Revisit Their Childhood Homes Using Virtual Reality

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07/06/2017 12:39

A group of school students have been taking virtual reality technology into retirement homes to let the residents revisit their childhood homes.

The teenagers, who run non-profit Gamers Gift charity in Sacramento, California, have been running the project for several months, but only recently were able to combine the VR with Google Maps.

Pairing Google Street View and Maps technology with the virtual reality goggles, the team helped a dozen residents at the Atria Carmichael Oaks assisted-living facility, go back to their home town.

A spokesperson for the group wrote on Imgur: “We’ve been doing this for quite a while, but just recently we’ve started to use Google Maps/Street View to allow them to revisit memories they haven’t experienced in many years.”

Previously, they had used the goggles to help the residents experience things that were otherwise physically impossible, such as visiting theme parks.

Marianne Shores, 76, rode a rollercoaster, reliving the first date she ever went on aged sixteen, Shores told Sacbee: “I have never seen anything like this before. It felt like I was on a real rollercoaster.”

This isn’t the first time we’ve been lucky enough to see seniors using virtual reality; a grandma from Northern Ireland went viral after trying out a Jurassic Park game for the first time.

Needless to say, she had a fairly terrifying experience.

The charity also visits children’s hospitals, helping young people to cope with long periods of time spent on wards.

This is because Dillon Hill, CEO of Gamers Gift, was first inspired to start the organisation when a friend got leukemia and his only escape from the treatment was playing on his Playstation 2.

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