We live in exciting times, and scary times. Technology and innovation have never been more cutting edge. Who would have thought human kind would be living in artificial worlds through their video games, mobile games, and for combating mental illness.
When I hear 3D, and augmented reality, I think of video games like Call of Duty and mobile games like Pokemon Go. It was not until recently, with the continuing improvements in wearable VR like the Oculus, did I think a traditional “good” could come from an artificial world. Researchers are using VR to help those with acrophobia (fear of heights), fear of flying and other mental barriers that prevent a person from normal activity. That’s the exciting part. The scary part, is the possible use of virtual reality, 3D and such for reporting stories. It would seem a very few types of stories would benefit from such a technology, perhaps something that is worth bringing the reader intimately into the story environment. Perhaps the opening night at the Metropolitan Opera or Cirque du Soleil. Or perhaps transporting viewers to the current civil war going on in Syria. This is where I think some guidelines will eventually have to be set in place for journalists and content creators.
With enough patience and computer processing power, anyone can make a virtual world of reality or fantasy. The question becomes what is the context and for what purpose.
The very intimacy artificial reality, both virtual and augmented, even 360 video can bring traumatic events front and center causing the viewer to feel anxiety, stress and even triggering a response that may be detrimental.