Following the Day of Remembrance

World War II Incarceration Map

Yesterday, February 19th, 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. As this date approached, a small group of friends found ourselves talking more and more often about that Executive Order and following events. We talked about what we knew, and more significantly, we spoke about what we didn’t know, and sought to learn more. We came to the conclusion that while awareness of this chapter in U.S. History has increased, there is still room for us to contribute. A Day of Remembrance is important, but the subject is too important to focus on only one day a year.

Experiencing aspects of history through the immersiveness of Virtual Reality, and blending current day with the past to increase relevance and personal connection through Augmented Reality, is another way to bring yesterday out of history books and into our presence in relatable ways.

Therefore Rabbx Inc. and LX Ltd. have teamed up to create an experience providing a virtual window into 1942 and the years to follow, giving users a chance to interact with the past and assimilate it in a new way. With dozens of sites of incarceration involved, there is the potential for it to become a very large project. However, we’re starting with a small number of locations, while still enabling the user to make choices providing varying glimpses of a time which should not be forgotten.

The subject is of particular personal importance to Lex Nakashima, President of LX Ltd., as it impacted his family directly. His mother was sent to Rohwer as a teen, and his father to Poston as a young man, despite both of his parents being natural-born United States citizens. He is looking forward to using his creative background toward a new kind of project. His father’s tenure on the UC Board of Regents instilled in him a deep respect for the importance of education, and he is very pleased to be supporting education in a new way.

Tori Pulkka, a producer, researcher, and writer for LX Ltd. and Rabbx Inc. has been interested in Virtual Reality since her days volunteering at the University of Washington Human Interface Technology Lab (HITLab) Library, particularly in the “serious” VR space. Having homeschooled her daughter from Kindergarten until her daughter went to college, she has an enduring interest in both traditional and alternative education approaches. Being of Japanese American descent, she has always felt the weight of “what if” and the importance of “never again”.

From his college days working on VR as a Research Associate at the UW HITLab, Tori’s husband Aaron Pulkka, CEO of Rabbx Inc. has remained a true believer in the potential of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to not only entertain but also to enhance communication and learning. Now more than ever he feels it is imperative to leverage his experience at Walt Disney Imagineering, Sony Development, Activision, and with technology like the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and HoloLens to help shine a light on a dark chapter in American history.

We’ve begun talking with educators and museum administrators, and would enjoy hearing from other like minded collaborators who might want to be involved with this undertaking. It will require the knowledge and enthusiasm of people from a wide variety of disciplines to achieve the best results. If you are interested please introduce yourself: [email protected]