Can we Build Empathy Through Virtual Reality?

Why?

We wanted to find out if Virtual Reality can be used as a medium to create a greater sense of empathy amongst its users and engage them in educational content in a deeper way.

How?

We conducted an experiment in association with Georgia Tech’s summer camp and the Drew Charter’s School where 65 students were given the task of creating VR films around hunger and homelessness. The students engaged with VR through various parts of their community from waiting in line at the Atlanta Community Food Bank to visiting shelter homes.

Observation

Students who were involved in making these VR films showed more empathy towards homeless people and many even volunteered to help them in shelter homes. Teachers felt that VR is an innovative and cost effective way to create experiential learning for their students.

Finding

We understood that VR can be used not only as a learning tool, but also as a medium to help people understand the world they live in, in a more profound manner.