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Article that seems a bit scare-mongering about VR psyhological effects

kernow
Level 7
This article seems to be doing a bit of scare-mongering re the psychological effects of VR

The Coming Horror of Virtual Reality
Simon Parkin, 2016-05-15, New Yorker
http://www.newyorker.com/tech/elements/the-coming-horror-of-virtual-reality

7 REPLIES 7

TwoHedWlf
Level 11
Seems like a continuation of the "Video games make people serial killers!" that's been floating around since Pong.

Cheesekeeper
Level 4
I've always hated the way articles are continually harping on about how video games can make people violent in reality.  I've been playing violent videogames for basically as long as they have existed, and I've never hurt anyone.  Except the hookers I  killed last weekend.  And the backpackers last month.  It's not a regular thing anyway.  More of a hobby really.  But I digress.

Actually I found the article quite good - it focuses on how much more effective horror can be in virtual reality, not on whether it permanently damages your psyche.  I would have to say that like much of what I have read on this subject, I don't really agree particularly.  I tried several of the horror experiences in the DK1 and DK2 and can't say any of them bothered me at all.  They were enjoyable, but  not what I'd call scary because they simply weren't real enough to feel like anything other than a game.........

VRRabbit
Level 4
The idea that VR horror can cause psychological issues springs from the fact that psychologists are using VR to treat veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I guess people believe if VR can help people suffering from PTSD it can also be used to cause PTSD, which just isn't true.

bigmike20vt
Level 14
The ONE point I will totally concede with VR, and that even then it is not the fault of VR or something which should mean it be censored.

imo it is only a matter of time before someone has a heart attack in VR.

stuff like Alien Isolation is butt clenchingly terrifying - my heart goes into overdrive when playing, same with some other experiences.  No matter how much my logical brain says it is not real, my lizard brain says screw that  RUN!!!!!!!!

I totally see how it would send someone with an already dicky ticker over the edge.  Now, this is not a problem at all for those who go in with their eyes open, forewarned is forearmed etc  but imagine if some teenager things it will be funny to give old grandad a bit of a fright, and him try it out unsuspecting.

(example Ocean Rift, looking at the whale etc, turning round and being eaten by a Megalodon
Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂

kernow
Level 7
Purely anecdotal, but I'm almost as non-violent as you can get, never punched a person in my life, rarely ever get angry, but I have played very violent video games since I was a wee lad. If anything, it gives me perspective for reasons not to act out violent. I have also noticed that people who have been exposed to horror movies
and nudity in movies since they were kids are the more mature and
balanced regarding those areas compared to those who have been sheltered
as kids. But, yeah, anecdotal, so more correlation than causality... IF even that.

Eventually, though, we'll have some kid who goes nuts on a school, like Columbine, and people will be rummaging through every single thing the kid owns, and they'll pull out some game or VR HMD and say "Aha!" Some clueless government legislators will be swayed by the snake-oil of correlation, and we'll have some uproar. Similar thing happened with comics decades ago, some dumb psychologist — Fredric Wertham — went around to juvenile prisons and asked them what they read. He noticed a lot of them read comic books, so he concluded that comic books were the cause of their problems. He convinced legislators, and the comic industry only managed to cut-off the boom that was about to be lowered on their heads by creating a self-imposed censorship board (the Comics Code Authority) that G-rated every comic that came out. Totally missed was that this was all correlation... like saying every juvenile delinquent eats food, or every juvenile delinquent in jail doesn't go on mile long jogs every day in suburban Wichita (despite living in New York), and then blaming that as the cause of their delinquency.

Generally... I'm just ranting right now. Scare-mongering tends to be one of those things that make me look at the scare-monger and say, "Are you kidding me?!" and want to throw and opposing view against what they are saying.

DigitylRise
Level 8
To me this is all BS. You know why? At any time the user can close their eyes or just take off the headset or hit the menu button.

Sure, VR is trying to simulate reality, and it's very effective, so superficially it's easy to write up these kind of articles or attempt to do studies and make a valid argument about the effects; but again, at any time the user can just ignore the experience, unlike real life where you HAVE to endure it!

Now maybe if it were like a Robot Chicken type torture (force the eyelids open, and strap the users arms down) then that could indeed cause some serious psychological effects....something like the movie Lawnmower Man....poor girl.

bigmike20vt
Level 14
Similar thing happened with comics decades ago, some dumb psychologist — Fredric Wertham — went around to juvenile prisons and asked them what they read. He noticed a lot of them read comic books, so he concluded that comic books were the cause of their problems.


This reminds me of this graph.

https://illuminutti.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/pirates.jpg?w=620

Therefore using the same logic as quoted as the number of pirates have reduced, global warming has increased, therefore piracy helps reduce global warming (or global warming kills piracy).

it would be funny if it was not that some numbskulls (usually a Daily Mail reader in the UK) believe this nonsense and sooner or later will get games censored like in Germany or Australia.
Fiat Coupe, gone. 350Z gone. Dirty nappies, no sleep & practical transport incoming. Thank goodness for VR 🙂