Disability-Simulating VR Promotes Empathy

Virtual-reality projects are trying to offer a new perspective on what it’s like to experience conditions such as deafness, migraines, and depression.


Virtual projects aimed at cultivating empathy for those with medical conditions have been around since the 1990s, but whether these initiatives permanently change attitudes or behavior is “still unknown,”


says Albert “Skip” Rizzo, director for medical virtual reality at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies. That’s partly because until recently, building and studying VR empathy systems has been pricey.