Virtual Reality is very effective in triggering emotions, because it’s an immersive experience. And like anything in this world, a good thing can be used the wrong way and do much harm. Here’s an example of taking the VR experience too far: Fear.
In today’s world, there are few standards of ethics guiding the secular entertainment industry. We should all be very concerned about wrong uses of VR.
Affect on the brain
As far as the brain is concerned, the immersive experience of VR makes the trauma caused by fear all too real. What kind of affects on society will be caused by Knott’s Berry Farm and other entertainment parks that follow this trend?
How will it affect those who have been scarred by abuse and other childhood traumas (which is at least a third of the population)?
I’d like to see some psychologists take a stand against the dangers of triggering mental illness through VR-imposed fear. As Jason MacNaughton of VR Today Magazine says, “With VR becoming more immersive it is necessary that we take precautions to prevent it from causing any type of stress. This is new and exciting technology. It has the potential to alter the way we interact with, and share experiences in, our world; yet it also has the potential to harm us in ways we do not yet understand. Let’s apply reasonable caution, and ensure it enhances our quality of life rather than endangering it. Virtual Reality … must be done correctly and with care, or the implications could be devastating despite our good intentions.”
Let’s pray that studies are done instead of just ignoring it until some poor, mentally unbalanced, fear-triggered kid goes berserk with a gun after coming out of a Halloween VR haunted house.
And meanwhile, let’s develop Christian Virtual Reality experiences that help people and heal people and inspire them make this world a better place.
© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries