VR & video games against inequality and gender violence

The world of video games and virtual reality have focused exclusively on digital entertainment for decades but technological advances in these fields, such as the innovations brought by HTC Vive glasses in the face of the competition, have begun to produce results in other areas such as education and health.

New technologies have entered into educational centers with strength. There are more and more video games with didactic purposes for children to learn while having fun, and not only about the subjects, but also as a means to promote inclusion (e.g. Dogchild against animal abuse) and raise awareness among the youngest people. Likewise, virtual reality glasses are being used to treat some disorders or phobias, etc., since they can immerse us in a simulated virtual world to deal with a multitude of situations,  and even put ourselves in the situation fo another person to work on empathy, which is what we are going to talk about.

We have known for a long time a Spanish project called Gazteak Berdintasunean 2.0, an innovative video game from Emakunde to promote gender equality and prevent violent attitudes on the part of young people, involving adolescents who play with this title to be in favor of equality,  in opposition to violence against women and make them participate in these behaviours in social networks. All this from an interactive graphic adventure in 3D that will make you think about while you are having fun.

Well, it is not the only Spanish project related to this scourge of society. Now researchers from the August Pi i Sunyer Research Institute (IDIBAPS), linked to the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, have started an essay where they put virtual reality at the service of society. They intend with the program to put people in the place of victims of gender violence. With the help of some VR glasses you can put yourself in a battered woman´s shoes with the aim of the batterer feels the fear of the victim.

The scientific study from IDIBAPS has been published in the magazine Scientific Reports due to its importance. The program will subject to a virtual simulation a group of 20 men sentenced of gender violence and other 19 men as a control group. The purpose of this program is to make them feel the same violence, intimidation and fear as their victims, considering that international studies allege that batterers have a deficiency of emotional recognition. By means of embodiment techniques  the participants will recognize the virtual body as their own for a much more realistic experience in virtual scenes of psychological and verbal violence…

I hope that what is a study today will be of help tomorrow!

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