Can VR improve empathy?

Virtual Pets

Virtual reality can make us nicer

There’s been quite a bit of debate about whether violent video games can make people more violent in real life — though no conclusive research. With the advent of virtual reality — immersive, interactive experiences in which users feel as though they are actually characters inside a different world — this debate is likely to become even more heated. But it’s not enough to look at whether virtual reality can make people more violent — the opposite might also be true. And, in fact, according to a new study from the University of Georgia, virtual reality experiences can actually make people nicer, and more empathetic. The research, conducted by Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, an assistant professor of Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, studied the potential of the virtual reality technology to improve society by enhancing empathy and encouraging more considerate behaviours. ….[READ]

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