When I think of virtual or augmented reality, I think of that movie “Ready Player One” about the majority of humanity being entrenched in a virtual reality for most of their life. In other words, I have an unjustified fear and uncertainty associated with it (: . Even though I know that complex virtual reality systems like the one described in that film are a long ways away, the articles that were offered gave me a little bit more positive perspective on the whole topic.
The article titled, Augmented Innovations Battle Autism, I found it very interesting and uplifting to hear about the positive developments being made by VR to the lives of people with disabilities. According to the article, the benefits of augmented systems giving autistic children the agency and control include better interpersonal cooperation skills and increased confidence. The freedom associated with using the VR game was of immense benefit to the children’s sense of control, whereas their real life is often filled with frustration about their inablity to control their environment. I thought this was an awesome way to use this technology, and it made me feel good about the future of technology in that respect.
Another interesting article was related to the benefits of VR for senior citizens. One of the things I picked up from Wellness VR’s website was that VR has been around for over 20 years! I had no idea it had existed for that long, although I am not totally sure what they are lumping into that category. The article shows to me that VR is especially useful for the vulnerable in our society, who do not have the same access or ability to participate in the same things that average citizens can. The ability of seniors to calm their nerves and get a mental reset through VR is an extremely positive development for a group that is increasingly unable to get out and enjoy the world in the same ways as they did when they were younger. I think I am starting to come around on VR!