Can you see what I'm seeing?

VR is a tool for empathy, and we're running short of that in real life.

By Leigh Garland on

Can you see what I'm seeing?

I was going to write a bit of a snarky rage-blog about how VR on the web will become the best way for VR to get to it's audience. However, there's something else we have to address first, before we can have the luxury of a philosophical flame-war.

In any other time, I wouldn't really be worried about the future of VR. Under normal circumstances, VR would go through the hype-cycle like many other new technologies. But, these days are not 'normal circumstances'.

Today, we're in a time of immense social upheaval. I would argue that political divides here in the UK, Europe and in the US, are getting wider and more polarised.

There is a danger to VR that it's becoming a symbol of people that would rather imagine they're living in fantasy world than face reality.

I believe VR has an immense power to educate, entertain and empathise. It is especially the latter that I think is so important in these days of turmoil. It's our ability to empathise with others that will defeat anger and resentment. VR has an unique ability to put you in the place of others; to feel what they feel; and see what they see.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying VR will save us. Quite the opposite. I'm saying that, in order to save VR, we have to use it to help heal our political rifts.

So, to my friends and colleagues in VR, if you want to be part of a future where VR reflects the best of us, lay the foundations now.