June pick “Stanford’s Virtual Reality Lab Cultivates Empathy for the Homeless”

Stanford’s Virtual Reality Lab Cultivates Empathy for the Homeless

Our June pick explains the possibilities of virtual reality to train empathy

The burgeoning field of Virtual Reality — or VR as it is commonly known — is a vehicle for telling stories through 360-degree visuals and sound that put you right in the middle of the action, be it at a crowded Syrian refugee camp, or inside the body of an 85-year-old with a bad hip and cataracts. Because of VR’s immersive properties, some people describe the medium as “the ultimate empathy machine.” But can it make people care about something as fraught and multi-faceted as homelessness?

A study in progress at Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab explores that question…

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