Are immersive technologies (and of course VR) THE right tools to share and to develop empathy? According to Erick Ramirez (assistant professor in philosophy at Santa Clara University) it is not so clear because it’s really difficult to put a frontier between empathy and sympathy.
Results such as these have led Bailenson and others to hail VR as a modern-day empathy machine. VR researchers tell us that simulations can let us see what it’s like to experience the day-to-day indignities of racist microaggression, of becoming homeless, or even of being an animal primed for butchering. The hope is that this technologically-enabled empathy will help us to become better, kinder, more understanding people.