Korean Mom ‘Reunited’ With Her Dead Daughter in VR

Ruben Fields
February 16, 2020

The two were able to touch, play and hold conversations.

Nayeon's mother, Jang Ji-sung, put on the virtual reality (VR) headgear and was transported to a garden where her daughter stood smiling in a bright purple dress.

The mother, Jang Ji-sung, was taking part in a controversial South Korean TV documentary that used technology to "reunite" her with an avatar of her daughter Nayeon. "Did you think about me?" to which Jang can be heard replying, "I do all the time" while stroking the digital replica of her daughter. According to worldwide reports, the Korean company Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) worked on designing the daughter's face, body, and voice to be as close to reality as it could be. Being able to see her daughter one last time might help her in her grieving process.

Jang was at first hesitant to touch the digital representation of her child until Nayeon insists she hold her hand.

Worldwide reports have also stated that Jang still wears the ashes of her daughter in the charm around her neck and also credited the documentary for helping people who have lost someone close to them.

It could be a normal family scene, except that the woman is wearing a virtual reality headset and gloves - and the little girl has been dead for three years. Even her husband and other daughter and son who was watching the entire event from a distance started shedding tears.

Screenshots of MBC's documentary aired Thursday
Screenshots of MBC's documentary aired Thursday

At one time, the little girl runs up to her mother and hands her a flower saying: "Mummy, you can see that I'm not hurting anymore, right?"

At the end of this magical journey, Nayeon lay down to sleep, saying that she was exhausted, and her mother said goodbye.

As the clip goes on Jang becomes visibly emotional as do onlookers, including members of her family.

'Three years later, I now think I should love her more than miss her and feel sick so that I can be confident when I meet her later.

As you might well imagine, even though the clip below is just a 10-minute segment from the full documentary, it's an incredibly hard thing to watch, especially when Jang Ji-sung is reunited with Nayeon on the anniversary of the girl's birthday. However, Dr Blay Whitby, philosopher and technology ethicist at the University of Sussex told an worldwide news outlet that that Korean show has sparked "worrying ethical issues".

The pair met in a virtual park.

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