Why Virtual Reality Could Create a Danger For Actual Reality

Interview on KPPC (NPR affiliate)

At the Electronic Entertainment Expo, consumers get to learn all about new video-games and the hardware that drives them

One hardware that’s considered to be the next frontier for gaming and other media is Virtual Reality.

VR headsets create a new level of immersion –  one that takes a gamer right inside an artificial world.

But some say that intense experience can also create a level of danger that hasn’t been fully recognized.

“The difference between virtual reality in a headset and a screen based game is the level of embodiment that you have,” Todd Richmond told Take Two’s A Martinez.

Richmond is a director at USC’s Institute for Creative Technologies, where he and his students frequently experiment with VR. He’s traveled around the country giving lectures about some of the darker things that the technology can be used for.

Richmond understands that VR has been used for a lot of good. But he doesn’t think that means the downfalls should be ignored.

“It can be used as a therapeutic tool in a clinical setting. But any time you’ve got a capability that can give you good outcomes you have the possibility for bad outcomes as well,” Richmond said.