VR and Empathy

Emotion and her sister Empathy are the very heart of what so many forms of media are trying to attain from their audience. As it happens Virtual Reality is proving to deliver levels of feeling that even with the most rudimentary works engage people with their emotions and bring out high levels of empathy.

Let’s look at this through the eyes and work of Chris Milk the US artist who has created some wonderful VR pieces but also delivers some of the most charming presentations of these works and ideas in his TED talks.

You should take the time to watch both of his short videos as they not only give an insight into VR technology but more importantly the emotional impact this hugely experiential media has. Chris describes the VR experience as feeling ‘like real life, it feels like truth’. You ‘feel present with the world and the people inside which encourages you to empathise in a deeper way’.

To reinforce the point we can also look at the wonderful work of Nonny de la Peña who also shows off the power of the medium to make people feel what she describes as ‘intense authentic reactions’. She uses this sensation and whole body presence in her journalism pieces to tap into people’s feelings of empathy.

The work presented in their talks is inspiring in so many ways, here at Mental Massages we are excited about the potential of this new medium to enhance the experience for our users. The more present they are in the virtual environment, the better they are able to pull away from their real lives and be in the right mental state to benefit from each experience.