Project 3 Design Research: Studying empathy through VR

In a world where technology is often blamed to cause violence and lack of empathy, technological interventions to foster empathy are starting to get proposed by designers.

Various ways seem to exist to foster empathy through technology. This study explores the possibilities of virtual reality within this context. Although studies on this application of VR exist, few efforts have been put in to add the power of play to this formula. By looking at player involvement in a self-made virtual reality game about rhino poaching, the fostering of empathy and immersion has been studied.

Participants were exposed to two versions of the same VR game with the same storyline, with the difference being the role the player fulfills.

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