The curious case of the transdiegetic cow, or a mission to foster other-oriented empathy through virtual reality

Martijn JL Kors, Erik D van der Spek, Julia Ayumi Bopp, Karel Millenaar, Rutger L van Teutem, Gabriele Ferri, Ben AM M Schouten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Socially aware persuasive games that use immersive technologies often appeal to empathy, prompting users to feel and understand the struggles of another. However, the often sought-after standing in another's shoes' experience, in which users virtually inhabit another in distress, may complicate other-oriented empathy. Following a Research through Design approach, we designed for other-oriented empathy - focusing on a partaker-perspective and diegetic reflection - which resulted in Permanent; a virtual reality game designed to foster empathy towards evacuees from the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. We deployed Permanent 'in the wild' and carried out a qualitative study with 78 participants in the Netherlands and Japan to capture user experiences. Content Analysis of the data showed a predominance of other-oriented empathy across countries, and in our Thematic Analysis, we identified the themes of 'Spatial, Other, and Self -Awareness', 'Personal Accounts', 'Ambivalence', and 'Transdiegetic Items', resulting in design insights for fostering other-oriented empathy through virtual reality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781450367080
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020
Event2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020

Conference

Conference2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period25/04/2030/04/20

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