Van Jones' The Messy Truth VR Experience Starring Wilson Duke Wins Lumiere Award

Virtual reality provides the chance to experience a police stop as a 12-year-old African-American boy.

(AllHipHop News) Black Panther was a winner at the 2019 Advanced Imaging Society’s Lumiere Awards. CNN host and Magic Labs Media co-founder Van Jones was also recognized at the event for The Messy Truth VR Experience.

The production, which stars Black Panther actor Winston Duke, allows viewers to experience other communities that may be unfamiliar to them. Users get to see through the eyes of a 12-year-old African-American boy as he and his dad are pulled over by the police which is based on a real-life incident researched by Time magazine.

“Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to truly understand what a person of a different race, gender or worldview is going through,” said Jones. “But a Virtual Reality experience can give life-changing insight. VR has the potential to be the world’s most powerful tool for generating empathy and understanding. It’s time to start using this new technology to bring us together across old divides.”

The Messy Truth started as a three-part Facebook video series in 2016. That program won a Webby award and inspired Jones’ Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together. The VR Experience adds an immersive action to the themes presented in The Messy Truth show and Beyond the Messy Truth book.

“We’re using sensors that track your hands, so when you put on the headset you really experience another person's world,” stated VR director Elijah Allan-Blitz. “When Van and I started working on this project, the devices we’re using now didn’t even exist. But our goal of using technology to bring people closer together was too great to give up on.”

In addition, Van Jones is the CEO of the REFORM Alliance with co-founders Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and others. REFORM's mission is to pass common-sense probation and parole reform laws.