The Curious Case of the Transdiegetic Cow, or a Mission to Foster Other-Oriented Empathy Through Virtual Reality

Martijn J.L. Kors, Erik D. Van Der Spek, Julia A. Bopp, Karel Millenaar, Rutger L. Van Teutem, Gabriele Ferri, Ben A.M. Schouten

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

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 publicationCHI 2020 - Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450367080
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020
Event2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Hawaiʻi Convention Center, Honolulu, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 202030 Apr 2020
https://chi2020.acm.org

Conference

Conference2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Abbreviated titleCHI 2020
CountryUnited States
CityHonolulu
Period25/04/2030/04/20
Internet address

Keywords

  • empathy
  • game
  • interactive narrative
  • virtual reality

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