Why Virtual Reality May Be Our Best Weapon Against Racial Bias | HuffPost

Why Virtual Reality May Be Our Best Weapon Against Racial Bias | HuffPost: "To break the stalemate, we need to accept that we are all biased by our own experience and need mechanisms that enable different people and groups to learn from the experiences of others. Enter the point-of-view gun: virtual reality. After filmmaker Chris Milk showed a VR film on a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan to participants of World Economic Forum in 2015, VR startups like Ryot took notice and developed tools to further help users understand what it feels like to be a refugee from Syria. Thanks to a VR camera dubbed the “transportation device,” Ryot can bring viewers, virtually, right into the thick of strife in places such as refugee camps in Greece and the dinghies carrying them ashore from Turkey. A study in progress at Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, aptly named Empathy at Scale, uses VR to place participants in situations where they can partake, virtually, in the experience of being homeless. The NFL is currently exploring how to use this technology to create virtual situations that will help staff and athletes confront racism and sexism. Why not, then, use VR’s promising capabilities to create other simulations that will help bridge the experience gap underlying racial bias? Simulations such as Nonny de la Peña’s new immersive journalism piece emulating the Trayvon Martin shooting. Or, say, of black people interacting with white policemen in cities like Chicago. A 2015 Trends in Cognitive Science study, Changing Bodies Changes Minds, indeed managed to reduce prejudices against other races by virtually putting people in their bodies."

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