Yosemite, and President Obama, head into virtual reality

NEW YORK (AP) — In a new project with National Geographic, Barack Obama becomes the first sitting U.S. president to project himself into virtual reality — in this case, a 360-degree representation of Yosemite National Park.

Obama narrates the 11-minute VR video. It’s one part paean to the wonders of America’s national parks and one part warning of the threat posed by climate change.

National Geographic joined Facebook’s Oculus Studios and VR specialists Felix & Paul Studios to produce the free video. It’s out Thursday to mark the centennial of the National Park Service.

Although the video advocates visitation and preservation, the experience is mostly an opportunity to marvel at Yosemite. Crews captured Obama’s June visit there. The video isn’t a traditional documentary; the producers and the White House worked on the script together.

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