This Mech Suit Simulates the Aging Process. But Do “Empathy Simulators” Inspire Actual Change?

Laura Geggel, the Live Science reporter who tried on the suit in the video above, wrote afterwards that she “vowed to stop mindlessly walking so fast with my older relatives.”


But do empathy simulators like the R70i actually inspire people to make long-term, significant changes in how they treat people who are different from them?


I don’t have a concrete answer to that question, but it’s one that I’ve asked myself a lot since “empathy games” and “empathy sims” have become so popular, particularly in the video game space and now, increasingly, in the VR and technology space. Just yesterday, I received a press release about a VR empathy simulator called The Migraine Experience, which was created by Exedrin (as in, the migraine relief drug); that game also claimed to “foster empathy.”



As a person who has gotten debilitating migraines since the age of 12, I thought the VR game sounded like a very strange way of fostering “empathy.”


by Maddy Myers