Can virtual reality support us towards others? New technologies allow us to know our emotions, sometimes to amplify them, and there are numerous studies conducted by prestigious universities, such as Stanford University, to demonstrate how virtual reality can also have ethical and social purposes.
Starting precisely from the concept of empathy, from the ability to “put yourself in the other’s shoes”, Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab created “Becoming Homeless. A Human Experience “. A human experience that for a few moments leads the user to put on clothes, “uncomfortable”, of a person left homeless, and to experience, in virtual reality, an unfortunately real condition for many people in our society.
The fundamental attribution error, as coined by Stanford psychologists, describes how we blame others when bad things happen to them, but we blame external situations when bad things happen to us.
“Becoming homeless” tries to counter this irrational trend by making the user try an experience in which he spends a few days in the life of someone who can no longer afford a home. Through the oculus we try to save the house and protect ourselves and the few belongings that remain, we face the diversity of a daily life with decreasing resources. The experience, can be viewed on HTC Vive, takes us into the reality of others to understand their points of view, thoughts, feelings, emotions and “pathos”. To make us aware that what we have experienced today through the oculus, is how thousands of people live every day.