DeathTolls Experience is a data visualization in virtual reality that aims to re-sensitize the user to the casualties of the terrorist attacks in Europe, refugee deaths in the Mediterranean Sea, and the human cost of the Syrian civil war. The project challenges the lack of concern that results from the frequency of such news on the mass media. By walking the user through hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in photorealistic CGI scenes, the creator Ali Eslami aims to inspire an active awareness towards big data that represents massive deaths, and compassion for the people behind those numbers.
DeathTolls Experience is a journey through the Information that we overly hear in the news every day. It’s a Virtual Reality project that puts the user between all the dead bodies in recent mass death. the journey begins from Europe [Brussels Shootings, Paris Attacks, Nice Attack], then goes to the Mediterranean Sea [refugees who drowned in the sea last year] and ends up in the Middle East [Syrian Civilian deathtoll]. This experience provides a mirror to our own actions as collective of humans. We perceive our surrounding reality based on our Knowledgebase (Perceptual set) and this project tries to provide a knowledge base to perceive a fracture of our actions as a collective of humans. One of the pieces that are missing in our knowledge base is the ability to perceive Big Numbers. We have trouble understanding and accepting mass death. For example, numbers like 1; 2; 14; 20; 50, are all quantities that we encounter quite frequently and therefore we’re able to rationalize them with a representative mind model. But then we get to numbers like 1,000; 10,000; 20,000. These numbers become increasingly difficult to conceptualize, but we can still grasp the general meaning of such numbers using visual models of large-scale things we encounter often in our little realities. So in this project for each dataset (Deathtoll) I made a specific environment that is relative to the data. this makes it more intuitive for the user to understand and relate to the information that lies in each environment.
Project’s first prototype was made as a First Person Game (non-VR).
Made by Ali Eslami
Music – Nima Pourkarimi (a.k.a Umchunga)
With Support from AgeOfWonderland: Bigdata, Bigdada?! 2016
Powered by Unreal Engine
Press and Recognition
Awarded for IDFA Doclab’s Best Immersive Non-fiction 2016
Featured at MIT’s Opendoclab Docubase
Longlisted at Kantar Information is beautiful awards 2015
Dutch Design Week – Eindhoven [Oct 2016]
IDFA Festival – Amsterdam [Nov 2016]
SXSW Virtual Cinema 2017 – Austin, Texas [Mar 2017]
Kaleidoscope VR – Showcase Vol 2 Official Selection
Sheffield DocFest – Alternate Realities [Jun 2017]
Forum Des Images – Paris Virtual Film Festival [Jun 2017]
DocMontevideo – Uruguay [Aug 2017]
Getxophoto Festival – Bilbao, Spain [Sep 2017]
Bergen Film Festival – Bergen, Norway [Sep 2017]
Festival Du Nouveau Cinema – Montreal [Oct 2017]