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Empathy engine

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Talk at MTSU Walker Library about immersive VR environments as an engine of empathy.

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Empathy engine

  1. 1. E M P A T H Y E N G I N E ? C A N V R C H A N G E T H E W A Y W E U N D E R S T A N D S O C I A L P R O B L E M S
  2. 2. S O C I A L P R O B L E M ?
  3. 3. F R A M E S “There is no binary division to be made between what one says and what one does not say; we must try to determine the different ways of not saying such things, how those who can and those who cannot speak of them are distributed, which type of discourse is authorized, or which form of discretion is required in either case. There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses” -Foucault
  4. 4. T H E D U L U T H M O D E LWhen agencies—from 911 to the courts—work together to create policies and procedures that interweave together, the whole system works in coordination to more effectively hold batterers accountable. Each agency has a part in identifying and rectifying gaps that hurt women. Each agency can do its job better. It keeps women safe because it is developed from their own voices of experience. Sometimes policies or plans that are developed and thought to help women who are battered actually cause more harm than good. The Duluth Model approach keeps the voices of victims central to any policies or plans that are made by including victims and the advocates who work closely with them in all decision making. We realize that to keep women safe, we have to help abusive men change. When the Duluth Model first began, women told us that they wanted us to work with their partners—that helping their partners change is what would most keep them safe. So, we began nonviolence courses to help abusive men look more closely at their actions, intentions and beliefs and the effect their actions had on their partners and others. Because it helps men get to the core of their actions and beliefs, our men’s nonviolence program is the most replicated program for men who batter in the world
  5. 5. ““When discussing victims, the public often holds them personally responsible for the abuse. Victims are blamed for provoking the abuse because of their behavior. They are also blamed for not leaving because they are too weak, not in control, or too passive. These explanations place the blame directly on the victim. However, when discussing the abusers, people use explanations — alcohol use and childhood abuse — that place the blame on factors external to the individual” (Berns, 2009, p. 30).
  6. 6. J U L I E S TR U P P , H TTP : / / W W W . P O L IC YMI C . C O M/ A R TI C L E S / 2 6 8 1 0 / W H Y - B L A MI N G - R I H A N N A - F O R - S TA YI N G - W I TH - C H R I S - B R O W N - I S - S O -W R O N G First, domestic violence is common and deadly, and being a celebrity isn’t enough to escape it. It is the leading cause of injury to women — more than car accidents, muggings, and rape combined. At least one in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Yet most commentators haven’t examined the pervasiveness or roots of domestic violence in our society, but have instead focused on belittling Rihanna’s intelligence and chiding her for not being a better role model. What we should be talking about is how misogyny runs so deep in our culture that even wealthy and talented young women like Rihanna (and Tina Turner, Halle Berry, and Madonna, etc.) not only can be victims of violence, but also get blamed for it. Although Chris Brown has received his share of (well-deserved) criticism, what about all the other celebrity abusers? Where is the outrage at Charlie Sheen, who shot his fiancé, beat his girlfriend, and received a restraining order from his ex-wife? What about Sean Penn, who beat Madonna with a baseball bat? And Sean Connery, who verbally and physically abused his first wife? The list goes on, and there’s definitely a racial element to the discrepancy in outrage that should be explored. Yet all these men are incredibly successful, and seemingly paying little or no consequences for their crimes. No one asks why they’re not better role models — they’re just boys being boys and they've done their time. Who do we continue to demonize? Rihanna. And the message we send? Violence against women is no big deal.
  7. 7. W H A T I S V R ?
  8. 8. Virtual Reality: The Empathy Machine
  9. 9. – H U N T E R H O F F M A N SnowWorld
  10. 10. C U T T I N G T R E E S
  11. 11. Second-life monument to victims killed during domestic abuse
  12. 12. – N O N N Y D E L A P E Ñ A “Project Syria”
  13. 13. V R E X P E R I E N C E , S U N D A N C E 2 0 1 6 “Kiya”
  14. 14. “Compared with games, reality is disconnected. Games build stronger social bonds and lead to more active social networks. The more time we spend interacting within our social networks, the more likely we are to generate a subset of positive emotions known as “prosocial emotions” (McGonigal, 2011, p. 82).
  15. 15. Games vs Experience
  16. 16. A D A N I S H P S A A G A I N S T D O M E S T I C V I O L E N C E “Hit the bitch.”
  17. 17. – R E L A T I O N S H I P G A M E “Facade.”
  18. 18. A V A T A R S A N D F L U I D I D E N T I T Y
  19. 19. S E L F N A R R A T I O N • Complex Frames • Complex Policies • Multiple Avatars/Identities
  20. 20. Thank you Stephanie Dean @cutecattheory stephanie.dean@mtsu.edu http://vrarkat.com
  21. 21. Kick off Question: If VR can help facilitate empathy, how does that empathy become ‘sticky’? Can that change scale up? How can the power of games harness social motivations?

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