Rethinking Immersive Virtual Reality and Empathy

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PubDate: Sep 2021

Teams: University of Waterloo

Writers: Ken Jen Lee, Edith Law



In this position paper, we aim to spark more discussions surrounding the use of empathy as the intended outcome of many studies on immersive virtual reality experiences. As a construct, empathy has many significant flaws that may lead to unintended and negative outcomes, going against our original goal of employing these technologies for the betterment of society. We highlight the possible advantages of designing for rational compassion instead, and propose alternative research directions and outcome measurements for immersive virtual reality that urgently warrant our attention.

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