Virtual Reality: Ultimate Empathy Machine

Ever have those dreams that wake you with a jolt and end up changing your perspective about reality? It’s one thing to hear about something and another entirely to be dropped in middle of it. Virtual reality is a powerful technology that removes blindfold from eyes of users and make them feel as if they are a part of what’s happening around them.

In the past technology has always been accused of isolating people from each other and creating an isolated world. But the idea that VR can conjure feelings of empathy is getting a lot of attention. Virtual reality offers the missing piece to a story, reaching people on a deeper and more human level. It gives an intimate access to experience an incident or a story by walking in shoes of people undergoing those experiences in real life.

Potential of VR to become an ultimate empathy machine is not just a random arrow shot in dark. It is backed by psychological and scientific theories. One of most relevant theories that support this claim is human ability to activate feelings only by observing actions of other people. Such mirror neurons have been observed to fire up simply upon witnessing people in pain and are believed to be the underpinning of empathy.

VR can undoubtedly be the ultimate empathy machine is it’s not just a video game peripheral. It has true power to connect humans to others in a profound way that no other media form has been observed to achieve. Virtual reality can change perception of people and break stereotypical representation of different cultures and races across our world.

It cannot be said how long the effects of empathy experienced through VR will stay. But early results advocate that it will definitely help in creating a kinder place for us to live. It’s a machine no doubt, but one that holds huge potential to make people more compassionate, empathetic and connected in real world. It’s only a matter of time before VR will become more pervasive and experts are now moving beyond its Wow factor towards its implications for humanity.