Facing Ethical Challenges in Virtual Reality Projects

Conference Archive

Realities360 2018 Conference - June 26, 2018

Emory Craig

Director, eLearning
The College of New Rochelle

Virtual reality will lead to a revolution in business, professional development, education, and entertainment. But VR raises a new set of challenges due to the deeply compelling nature of immersive environments. Unlike media on a screen, VR hijacks your senses, turning the virtual into reality. What are some of the ethical issues VR creates? How do you address the emotional impact of deeply realistic, immersive environments?

This session explores ethical challenges that are coming up in the early stages of VR development. You will examine how to create learning experiences, advocacy messages, and campaigns in VR without projecting a single point of view and exclusivity. You will learn from specific examples where the failure to consider user reactions or larger social issues has resulted in controversial VR projects. Finally, you will examine how the rapidly evolving developments in social VR will not only foster new social connections and virtual communities, but also open the door to bad-faith actors trying to break those bonds.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How the novelty of VR can lead to its misapplication in specific settings and audiences
  • About major projects that led to controversy when designers did not consider the larger cultural issues at play
  • About the characteristics of messaging campaigns that effectively leverage VR experiences
  • How social VR will not only create new opportunities for organizations, but also new challenges for virtual communities


Designers, developers, managers, and senior leaders (directors, VP, CLO, executive, etc.).

Technology discussed in this session:

VR apps and projects; 360-degree videos.


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