Oculus Rift donated to dying woman to help her go outside virtually – video

By Dave Cook, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 09:19 GMT

Oculus VR has donated a Rift headset to the grandmother of a Seattle-based video game artist to help her venture outdoors. Terminally ill Roberta Firstenberg said that she wanted nothing more than to venture outside or to go on holiday but is too weak to do so, prompting action from the firm.

Priscilla Firstenberg posted the video above back in November, but it was recently picked up by Gamespot. We hadn’t seen this until now, but it does back-up Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey’s claims that VR could change the world in positive ways, and if anything, is a heart-warming if not tragic story.

Rift Arcade reports that Firstenberg’s grand-daughter Priscilla reached out to the company to help Roberta venture outdoors virtually, and the request was fulfilled by Oculus VR’s support team.

Roberta had described using the device as, “like a therapy,” where regular medicinal practices had failed. After sampling a selection of demos, Priscilla had planned on creating a demo of her grand-mother’s favourite things with the help of colleagues.

However, Roberta eventually grew too weak to use the VR headset and died some four weeks after the video was created.

It’s a showcase of how VR could be used beyond gaming, and a humbling story of how game technology can be used for good.

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