Trading meat for tires

This article is the story of a man — Thodoris Roussos — from Athens, Greece, who owns a butcher shop and traded his meat to pay for tires that would cost roughly 340 euros per tire. In this case, Roussos spent no money; he only exchanged meat for new tires.

I thought this would be an interesting virtual reality project to take on because it’s a very strange story… It’s not something I ever expected to come across while browsing through the New York Times. But once I started reading, I was hooked — especially having prior knowledge of the economic crisis in Greece. This article was just simply too good to pass up.

The reporting

There would be quite a bit of researching going into this project. Roussos would have to be contacted, as would all the other people who would be involved in the virtual reality project. I would need to learn more information about the transaction of meat for tires and have to fully understand how this deal was struck.

I would have to do a tour of the butcher shop and the barter club office that I want to include in the virtual reality tour for this project.

The resources

I would easily need a team of at least ten people. Half of them will work on the butcher shop, the other half will work at the office of the barter club.

Other than just the crew, I would need cameras — lots of cameras — and I would need people who know how to operate those cameras.

The project

This virtual reality project would feature a few different locations. But first, we would start with Roussos’ butcher shop.

The butcher shop is where the meat is prepared and the meat makes the story so, of course, it has to be included. I think it would be really interesting to take your own personalized tour of the butcher shop. I think it would be interesting if the person experiencing it would be able to walk into the shop like they were really there — if that’s even technologically possible. So they would walk through the front door, hear the bell on the door (if there is one), be greeted by Roussos, wander the shop, look around, Roussos would give them a personal tour of the back room where all the meat is hanging, etc. I think allowing the person to control where they go and what they see would be a bit different from the traditional virtual reality projects where you can look around but not really walk around or move to different areas.

After the butcher shop tour, there would be a tour of the Tradenow office — the barter club that Roussos used to find the tire guy which has its own currency. The tour would begin with someone coming into the office to learn more about it. They would be greeted by the Tradenow founder Yiannis Deligiannis and learn all the aspects of the club and see how it works. Maybe there could even be a reenactment of how Deligiannis came up with the idea and the process he went through to create the club. This wouldn’t even have to be virtual/look like a video game… It could actually be filmed with him recreating it so it would still have the real-life feel to it.

There would also be a tour of the tire place/shop where the tires are coming from, they will get to see the prices of the tires and see a man choosing to exchange the tires for meat — maybe over a phone call…however it happened.

After the viewers get to tour the places involved, they would get the option to experience the actual exchange. The tire dealer and the butcher shop owner would reenact the exchange, show the viewers exactly how the transaction worked. There would be 360-degree views so the viewer could choose where to look and what they want to see.

What would the project add

Though the story is interesting enough on its own — a tale of how some people in Greece are managing to survive an economic crisis — I think being able to witness this story like you were there to truly experience it would make it so much more interesting.

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