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Virtual Reality could change the way humans empathize with global issues


At Virtual Reality Days Europe attendees are finding experiencing that VR goes beyond just games and can change the way people empathize with current global issues.

Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, the Director for Medical Virtual Reality at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies said, “I think with VR we have the opportunity to really show people what their existence is like in a way that will activate more compassion.”

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'Doctors Without Borders" is currently working with an interactive exhibit called 'Forced from Home.' The exhibit is visiting multiple locations across the U.S. and is raising awareness for millions of refugees and internally displaces persons (IDPs) around the world.

“We’re almost numb to the experience of the Holocaust survivors or the people we see on TV escaping Syria," said Rizzo. "You see so much of it, I think the general population sometimes gets numb and you need to jolt them back into a reality of these are people who have suffered or are suffering.”

Through 'Forced from Home' visitors can experience Syrian refugees makeshift tent settlements in Lebanon.

"I think the use of VR to help people to develop a sense of empathy for the plight or the situation of others is just an ideal match between what the technology can do and what you're trying to create in terms of user experience,” said Rizzo.

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