Posts Tagged ‘Ethical Considerations’

Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality

Five Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality with Children and Adolescents

Five Ethical Considerations For Using Virtual Reality with Children and Adolescents

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In an address to the VRX conference in San Francisco, noted game developer and tech wizard, Jesse Schell predicted that over 8 million VR gamer headsets will be sold in 2016. Facebook purchased Oculus Rift, presumably laying the groundwork for a future where friends and family will interact in rich virtual spaces. All the major players, including Microsoft, Sony, Samsung, Google and an HTC and Valve partnership are jostling for the consumer headset market.

Experimenting with VR in his classes as part of a project piloted by Seattle-based foundry10, a privately funded research organization that creates partnerships with educators to implement, research and explore the various intersections of emerging technologies and learning, including VR..

And the technology’s potential for good is vast. It has already been used to help with autism, improve personal financial management, treat PTSD and manage pain. More and more news outlets, including the New York Times, are adopting immersive journalism, where news stories can be experienced through VR.

As an educational tool, VR might prove transformative. Google Expeditions allows students to take over 100 virtual journeys from ancient Rome to the surface of Mars. It might also have a big impact on social emotional learning (SEL), as VR’s unique ability to produce empathy recently led Wired magazine to explore its potential as “the ultimate empathy machine”. Addressing a persistent anxiety, Suter used Samsung Gear’s Public Speaking Simulator to successfully prepare a few nervous students for class presentations, reporting they felt “much more calm” during the live delivery.

Ethical Considerations

In a recently published article, researchers Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger from Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany review a series of ethical considerations when implementing VR. The illusion of embodiment may provide VR’s greatest value to education, but also lies at the heart of its ethical implementation. Madary and Metzinger believe that VR is not just an evolution from television and video game screens, but a revolution that will have an enormous social impact. In their paper, they claim that:

VR technology will eventually change not only our general image of humanity but also our understanding of deeply entrenched notions, such as “conscious experience,” “selfhood,” “authenticity,” or “realness.”

It’s important to remember that many current VR uses in schools, like Google Expeditions, are not interactive VR, but simply 360-degree video experiences. In these cases, students experience immersive 3D pictures or panoramas, but do not deeply interact with the content. The illusion of embodiment is a product of interactive content and motion tracking, where users can alter and affect their environment and engage with others who share their virtual space. Headsets like the Vive and Occulus Rift fall under this latter category, but it won’t be long before most, if not all, consumer oriented VR technology will be completely immersive and interactive.

1. Long-Term Effects and Prolonged Exposure

2. The Impact of Environment on Agency and Behavior

3. Aggravating Preexisting Psychological or Emotional Issues

4. (Un)Reality and Diminished Real World Interactions

5. Privacy and Data Gathering

 

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more on virtual reality in this IMS blog

http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=virtual+reality