In the December 2019 edition of The New Yorker, Patricia Marx writes about “Taking Virtual Reality for a Test Drive.”
Reality being what it is right now, doesn’t an alternative sound tempting? That’s what I was thinking the other day, in my apartment, when I adjusted the Velcro straps on my Oculus Quest, a chunky virtual-reality headset made of black plastic, rubber, and a few billion transistors.
One of the projects featured in her story is Courtney Cogburn and Jeremy Bailenson’s 1000 Cut virtual reality experience — a project developed with grants from the Brown Institute. Marx describes the experience of “becoming” a black man named Michael Sterling.
In the body of Michael Sterling, I feel the sting of persistent racism, as manifested in several scenes of “1000 Cut Journey.” I play with blocks alongside kids who tease me about my skin color. At fifteen, I am stopped by the police in Brooklyn. At thirty, I am denied a job I deserve. These would be disturbing stories to read about in the third person, but they are deeply affecting and painful when they happen to you.
Read the full article here. Congratulations to Courtney and Jeremy!