In 2016, Jang Ji-sung’s seven-year-old daughter Nayeon died of an incurable disease. Three years later, the South Korean mother was reunited with Nayeon — sort of — in a virtual world created for a televised documentary.
On Thursday, the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation shared a clip from the special documentary, titled “I Met You,” on its YouTube page, with the footage cutting between the “real world” and the virtual one.
In the former setting, Jang stands in front of a massive green screen while wearing both a VR headset and what appear to be some sort of haptic gloves. In the latter, she and her daughter talk, hold hands, and even have a birthday party complete with a lit cake.
The VR reunion is, as you might expect, extremely emotional. Jang appears to begin crying the moment she sees the virtual Nayeon, while the rest of the family — Nayeon’s father, brother, and sister — watch the reunion unfold with somber expressions and the occasional tear.
“Maybe it’s a real paradise,” Jang said of the reunion in VR, according to Aju Business Daily. “I met Nayeon, who called me with a smile, for a very short time, but it’s a very happy time. I think I’ve had the dream I’ve always wanted.”
According to Aju Business Daily, the production team spent eight months on the project. They designed the virtual park after one the mother and daughter had visited in the real world, and used motion capture technology to record the movements of a child actor that they could later use as a model for their virtual Nayeon.
All that to say: the process might not be simple and the final product might not be…