We’re Running With Scissors – Why Some Experts Worry About VR
Richmond, who heads up the University of Southern California’s mixed reality lab, said that the teams there have been doing some “anecdotal stuff” to test out the possibilities and extent of VR gaslighting.
“As humans, our vision systems have evolved to a point where we have very high resolution in the front, wherever we’re looking,” he said. “We have very low resolution on the periphery, but motion in the periphery is something that we pick up on because that’s a threat. Our perception systems have evolved to do that.
“I’ve been looking at this idea of what if in VR, we put something in your peripheral motion but then when you turn to look at it, it continues to move so it never leaves your peripheral motion? I’m convinced that you wouldn’t be happy in that for more than about three minutes.”
It’s not, he said, because the technology is directly scaring you, like with an image or video. It’s because it is manipulating your brain into thinking you’re being threatened in a very subtle way and the technology is never removing that threat.
The lack of control, or agency, over that threat, is what would substantially get under your skin.