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Ulster-Scots in VR

Date Posted: February 5, 2024

Viewers can now immerse themselves in a virtual Ulster-Scots world with newly launched digital project Ulster-Scots in VR.

Local production companies Negative Waves and Sub-Culture Productions have created six virtual reality Ulster-Scots experiences themed around the River Bush, Peat Cutting, the Glens of Antrim and the music of Scad The Beggars including a track from the Sam Henry Collection.

Virtual reality headsets have been provided to local groups such as the Ulster-Scots Community Network, Armoy Community Association and the Schomberg Society in Kilkeel to bring these short films to life. Headsets have also been sent to two Ulster-Scots groups in America – the Maine Ulster-Scot Project and the Ulster-Scots of Colorado.

“We find that showcasing Ulster-Scots like this is a great way of engaging with the general public, and young people especially,” said Negative Waves Director, Tristan Crowe. “We also wanted to provide headsets to the Ulster-Scots diaspora so that they can have the experience of standing – and flying over! – the homelands of their ancestors. It’s hard to describe what it’s like without trying out the full headset experience for yourself, so we urge people to give it a go.”

One Schomberg Society user agreed,The VR headset has been absolutely amazing!  It is a completely new way to engage with and learn about Ulster-Scots. I have never learned through a VR headset before and have really enjoyed this experience. Thanks for making this possible!”

And the response Stateside has been equally enthusiastic, with the Ulster-Scots of Colorado adding, “We are very happy to be part of this project. This opportunity to virtually share the beauty and culture of Ulster and connect to our heritage’s homeland has really brought our display to another level.

“The feedback that we received from the people visiting our tent at festivals has been outstanding. Everyone was blown away by the sights and sounds shown in the films. There were multiple requests and questions on availability of future locations being produced. We even had lots of comments about really needing to take a trip to Northern Ireland!”

Ulster-Scots in VR has been made with the support of Northern Ireland Screen’s Ulster-Scots Broadcast Fund. The experiences can be viewed on any VR headset device via this link: Ulster-Scots | Negative Waves.

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