A WANTAGE resident has begun making a virtual reality (VR) experience of the town.

Charlie George, a 28-year-old VR enthusiast, has made the experience as an ‘intro demo’ to pop-up ‘VRcades’ that he hopes to run.

The video shows a 360-degree view of the centre of a wintry Wantage, illuminated by a small fire near King Alfred’s statue.

The current version, which will enhanced using drone footage and animation, sees the user picking up model NASA rockets, in 'homage to the continuing development of technology'.

Computer animation graduate Mr George, who now works in manufacturing, plans to expand his work to help local children's education.

He explained: “After volunteering for a local Code Club in Didcot Library, I made a new connection with Oxford County Library and was invited to demonstrate my project publicly in anticipation of Global VR Day."

As well as the 'VRcades', which he aims to hold at Wantage market and Oxford's Gloucester Green, Mr George also wants to create 3D scans of other notable Oxfordshire areas, to 'give sentimental value to learning experiences'.

He is also doing a digital taster session with home educated children at The Mix in Wantage and volunteering for a second term in Didcot Library.

The Dad-of-one continued: “I think VR has a lot of potential in the education sector and would like to expand my VR projects into educational apps for history lessons where you can see what the world looked like 100 years ago.

"My current project is ongoing, but I am working towards using the virtual space I created for multiple experiences, one being a type of mixed reality experience where you hold up a virtual magnifying glass and, through it, see what Wantage looked like years ago - a bit like time-travel."

Having been a builder for most of his life, Mr George says he is now looking to focus on more technical and creative pursuits.

He added: "This could be the kind of complimentary interactive learning experience we see in classrooms of the future.

"VR is able to harness the power of imagination and artistic vision in such an immersive way.

"By designing experiences based on familiar locations, VR can deliver sentimental and meaningful value to the world. If you combine that with education then we will start to see more successful interactive learning platforms."