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Graveyard for the Lunatics – a virtual trip to the history of mental care

Graveyard for the Lunatics
Graveyard for the Lunatics Kuva: Tomi Paijo, Heidi Grönroos/Yle mielisairaalat

Look at with vr-glasses or with out them

Has your mother been frightened or have you listened to too many political speeches? If you answered yes, you might be in need of treatment for mental illness. What would you say to the idea of getting treated with the newest treatments of the beginning of the 20th century? Here's your chance!

”Graveyard for the Lunatics” is a VR documentary film, shot using 360 and 3D technology and offering an immersive journey back in time through the history of psychiatric care.

Don your VR headset and travel a hundred years back. You’ll get a diagnosis and be dropped straight into an early 20th century lunatic asylum with the most modern treatments for lunatics! You will get to experience the newest psychosurgical methods of the time: lobotomy, electric shock therapy, long-term narcosis and so on. At the end, you will receive a personal treatment prescribed especially for you.

The story has been built based on the Pitkäniemi hospital patient records. Your guide will be Gustav. The character is based on the patient records of chaplain Hermo Gustav Willehard, who was treated at the hospital for 50 years and also died there.

Gustav kuljettaa höyrykaappihoidon ohi
Gustav kuljettaa höyrykaappihoidon ohi Kuva: Tomi Paijo, Heidi Grönroos/Yle mielisairaanhoito

The VR world has been built combining actual props and 3D modeling. Actors have been filmed stereoscopically, and the hospital environment, identical to the authentic one, has been created using the Unreal game engine.

Graveyard for the Lunatics is available at the Yle Areena Youtube channel.