Step inside the Unabomber investigation in VR

The Newseum's Unabomber VR experience is now available for the HTC Vive.

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TIM SLOAN via Getty Images
TIM SLOAN via Getty Images

In 1996, law enforcement officials arrested Ted Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber, after nearly two decades of investigation. But it wasn't until the Washington Post and the New York Times published Kaczynski's anonymous 35,000-word manifesto that a tip from his brother David led officials to Kaczynski and his isolated cabin in Montana. The massive nationwide hunt for the Unabomber, whose seemingly random attacks with lack of traceable evidence stumped law enforcement officials for years, is an interesting case and one that the Newseum in Washington DC has hosted an exhibit on for the past few years -- a display that includes Kaczynski's actual cabin. The exhibit has also featured a VR experience that let visitors explore the cabin from the perspective of an FBI agent, decide whether to publish the manifesto and even disarm the live bomb found in Kaczynski's cabin. Now, Variety reports, Unabomber: The Virtual Reality Experience is available for anyone to explore.

"We want to be able to reach people wherever they are," Newseum CTO Mitch Gelman told Variety. "We have a generation that is growing up on video games. VR is an incredibly experiential form of storytelling," And in that regard, Unabomber: The Virtual Reality Experience includes voice-over commentary from agents that led the investigation, newspaper clippings and additional videos for those who want to learn more.

Museums have been turning to VR more and more as a way to augment visitors' experiences. London's Tate Modern is using VR as part of an immersive Modigliani exhibit that's open until April while the Royal Academy of Arts has hosted an exhibit on how VR and similar technologies are impacting artists and their work. And the Smithsonian has been working on a VR experience that would let people anywhere experience some of the works it has on display.

Unabomber: The Virtual Reality Experience was produced by the Newseum and Immersion VR with support from Vive Studios. It's on sale now through Viveport for $5 and will be available on Steam in the near future. You can check out a trailer below.

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