A tearful reunion between a mom and her useless daughter through superior digital actuality for a South Korean tv has turn into a web-based hit, triggering a fierce debate about voyeurism and exploitation.
The footage started with the lady – who died of leukaemia in 2016 – rising from behind a pile of wooden in a park, as if taking part in hide-and-seek.
“Mum, where have you been?” she asks. “I’ve missed you a lot. Have you missed me?”
Tears streaming down her face, Jang Ji-sung reached out in the direction of her, racked with emotion.
“I have missed you Na-yeon,” she instructed the computer-generated six-year-old, her arms shifting to stroke her hair.
But in the true world, Jang was standing in entrance of a studio inexperienced display screen, carrying a digital actuality headset and touch-sensitive gloves, her daughter’s ashes in a locket round her neck.
At occasions the digital camera minimize to Jang’s watching husband and their three surviving kids, wiping away tears of their very own.
A nine-minute clip of the Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) documentary, I Met You, has been watched greater than 13 million occasions in per week on YouTube.
Many viewers supplied Jang their sympathy and help for the idea.
“My mother unexpectedly passed away two years ago and I wish I could meet her through virtual reality,” stated one.
But media columnist Park Sang-hyun stated the documentary amounted to exploitation of private ache.
“It’s understandable a grief-stricken mother would wish to meet her late daughter. I would do the same,” he instructed the AFP information company.
“The problem lies in that the broadcaster has taken advantage of a vulnerable mother who lost a child for sake of the viewer ratings.”
“If the mother had been counselled before the filming,” he added, “I wonder what kind of a psychiatrist would approve this.”
It took eight months of filming and programming to create the digital Na-yeon, however the makers of the documentary insisted the published was meant to “console the family” quite than promote digital actuality in ultra-wired South Korea.
The know-how offered a “new way to keep loved ones in memory”, one of many producers instructed reporters.
Jang herself – who has her daughter’s identify and date of start tattooed on her arm in reminiscence – hoped the programme might “console” others who had misplaced family members.
“Even though it was a very brief … I was really happy in the moment,” she wrote on her weblog – which she has since turned non-public.
During the published the 2 sat at a desk to have fun Na-yeon’s lacking birthdays, singing “happy birthday” collectively.
Before blowing out the candles, Na-yeon made a birthday want: “I want my mother to stop crying.”