Increasing empathy via VR adventure co-developed with scientists
|Coordinator||SVRVIVE Studios AB|
|Funding from Vinnova||SEK 300 000|
|Project duration||November 2017 - March 2018|
Purpose and goal
SVRVIVE Studios collaborates with psychologists and researchers to show how empathy centers in the brain are activated when players and virtual characters interact in VR. The goal was to see how immersive technologies can be used to practice compassion or increase player understanding of depressive behavior. With these results SVRVIVE Studios hopes to apply new techniques to have a reoccuring positive emotional effect on players, and be able to supply researchers and other pro-health institutions with attractive experiences to pursuit psychological well-being goals set by the EU.
Expected results and effects
The preliminary results have shown that VR-technologies like Oculus Rift can help the player feel presence and subconsciously activate empathy centers in the brain while they are playing SVRVIVE Studios custom experiences. The expected effects of this project is to increase awareness of emotial states or behaviors that can be created or normalized in games, while also increasing availability of attractive software that has a positive psychological effect. We also aim to compare these results with other techniques like AR and eye tracking, to show future purposes of these techniques.
Planned approach and implementation
A shorter VR game experience was developed and sent to the StoryUp test company for brain scanning. Before that SVRVIVE held workshops with psychologists and game developers to find a good design structure for both parties. After the results had been discussed a planning and comparison phase will start before the demo product is finally distributed. Depending on which technical solutions are deemed suitable for the positive psychological effects, hardware partners will be chosen. After that an end product will be planned and a network of clients and institutions gets developed in 2018.