The original article was published on WIRED on March 1, 2016. Written by. To read the complete article, click here.

NEW INVENTIONS, WHETHER they’re gadgets or startups or biotech advancements, always come with some promise to “change the world.” Some do. Most don’t. A rare few find revolutionary uses that go far beyond what their creators initially envisioned. (Congrats, Google. Sorry, Google Glass.) The United Nations’ Gabo Arora would like virtual reality to be the latter—a technology meant to revolutionize gaming that has the potential to impact lives in ways far beyond Eve: Valkyrie.

Arora, a filmmaker who runs the UN’s United Nations Virtual Reality program, is taking another step to realize that hope, and he’s doing it by providing a greater understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His VR experience My Mother’s Wing takes viewers inside the lives of a family living in Gaza. Narrated by the family’s matriarch—a 37-year-old former school worker named Om Osama who has lost two sons in the conflict—it’s the fifth piece produced as part of UNVR, and it’s one Arora he hopes will transform VR from a tool of awareness-raising to one of actual change.

“The ability to put somebody in a moment, to put them in another place, can create an increased understanding of the work that we do,” says Unicef Innovation co-lead Christopher Fabian. “But does that create real loyalty to a cause or to an idea? Or is it something that’s just very moving or very emotional at a given point and there’s a regular drop off later on?”

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