Immersive Dark Tourism Experiences: Storytelling at dark tourism attractions in the age of the 'immersive death'

Wright, Daniel orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9976-5799 (2020) Immersive Dark Tourism Experiences: Storytelling at dark tourism attractions in the age of the 'immersive death'. In: The Age of Spectacular Death. Routledge, London, pp. 89-109. ISBN 9780367368272

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Our fragile existence on this planet is often exposed by the destructive behaviour of humans and mother nature. Wars and natural disasters result in great suffering and death, and eventually, in the aftermath, the opportunity to learn. Learning and understanding can take place at the site where suffering and death occurred, likewise, attractions are (re)created to further showcase the stories and tragic events. These sites and attractions where death and suffering are present can focus on education and or entertainment-based experiences as a precursor to encourage consumer engagement. Michael Jacbson (2016) suggested, death is now a spectacle, an experience witnessed from a safe distance, but rarely experienced directly. People are interested, fascinated in death, but people do not want the pain that comes with death. With new immersive technologies will come new immersive experiences. Consequently, our relationship with death will also change. It is suggested here, that in the early to mid-21st century, society will move beyond the spectacular death. With new digital content displayed via virtual and augmented technologies, society will move into the age of ‘the immersive death’. In this age, technology and digital content will allow individuals to encounter and feel the presence of death in new forms. Virtual and augmented reality technologies have the potential to immerse visitors into new profound levels of storytelling. What immersive death content should be created? What stories should be told? Can immersive stories of victims bring visitors closers to individual suffering, and ultimately, can educating visitors in new ways support humanities long-term survival?

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