State-of-the-art virtual environments, which are increasingly indistinguishable from reality, are fast proving themselves to have a transformative effect on the body and the brain.
Virtual reality (VR) has shown itself to be an effective non-pharmalogical treatment for a number of conditions: studies show that VR has been as effective as morphine at reducing sensitivity to chronic pain, it can normalise the fight or flight area in the brains of soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder and VR systems can effectively induce a feeling of body ownership.
But virtual reality, like all technologies, is neutral: it can be used to treat but might it also be used to traumatise? What makes VR so effective (or ineffective) in altering the way in which our mind works? How might designers and developers leverage these effects to design more immersive experiences? Or who might seek to abuse the tool for their own ends?
Join the artist who will live a simulated life in VR for 28 days, an academic who is using gaming to transform how humans experience the world, one of the UK’s leading VR developers, and a researcher who is using virtual reality to combat psychosis, for a conversation on the the harsh reality of building new realities.
Mark Farid, Artist Living in Virtual Reality for 28 Days (@morkforid)
Prof. Pam Kato, Professor of Serious Games (@PamKato)
Dr. Dave Ranyard, CEO of VR Development Studio Dream Reality Interactive & Former Director of Sony PlayStation’s London Studio (@Dr__Dave)
Prof. Lucia Valmaggia, Head of Virtual Reality Lab, Kings College London (@lrv451)
Luke Robert Mason, Director of Virtual Futures (Moderator) (@LukeRobertMason)