VR is an Empathy Machine
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VR is an Empathy Machine

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Virtual Reality’s immersive nature has the power to make us care. And we badly need that right now. 

 

It’s fair to say that 2016 has been an extremely divisive year – events like Brexit and Donald Trump’s election expose just how it is possible for people to experience the same reality in entirely different ways. But to me, President Obama’s hopeful message is the one that actually resonates:

“What unites us is far greater than that which divides us.”

But in order for that to work, we need to be able to step into someone else’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. A tall ask – until now. Because Virtual Reality experiences are letting us do just that. In this article for UploadVR I talk to Nonny de La Pena (nicknamed “The Godmother of VR)   about her latest project which highlights the plight of women seeking to terminate their pregnancy in America.

The project, which was featured in this year’s Raindance festival was a partnership between her Emblematic studio and Planned Parenthood  – the very same organisation that has received over 50,000 donations in Vice President-Elect Mike Pence’s name since the US Election result was announced.

The immersive nature of VR makes it particularly powerful in eliciting empathy, as you can experience something from a different person’s point of view. And the one thing seems certain in these most uncertain times is that we are going to need such tools if the world is to heal its deep-seated divisions, and if we are ever to realise that what unites us is indeed greater than that which divides us.

In this age of division, anything that helps us empathise with our fellow humans is a good thing. #VR Click To Tweet

 

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Also published on Medium.