Can Virtual Reality Change Minds on Social Issues?
These activists are harnessing the power of VR to tackle everything from abortion to workplace harassment.
Header courtesy the Guardian
In 2004, Cathy Hackl may have watched more violent videos than anyone in America. While working in video production at CNN, part of Hackl’s job was to watch the raw video coming in from the Iraq War and flag sensitive material so that the cable channel’s local partners could warn viewers before they saw something graphic. In order to put this protection in place for viewers, Hackl had to immerse herself in such images and scenes for hours at a time. She sifted through beheadings, the bodies of soldiers being dragged, anything that might set off cable’s red flags. It was exhausting and traumatizing, but Hackl was most disturbed by how it began to change her.
“When you do that kind of job, you kind of turn your humanity switch off a little bit,” she says. She became desensitized to these horrific images. Her ability to empathize took a backseat – it had to.
It wasn’t until two years ago – more than a decade after she began doing that work – that she had the vis…
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