Games could be designed to train people to be more empathetic in the real world, according to experiments conducted by
researchers at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Laboratory (VHIL).
A game, in which people could subconsciously identify as a "do-gooder" with a superpower in virtual reality, has
been designed by Jeremy Bailenson, an associate professor of communication; Robin Rosenberg, a clinical psychologist
and Shawnee Baughman, Stanford communication student.
"We thought about giving them X-ray vision, but that was a little creepy," said Bailenson, director of the VHIL.
"We considered the ability to breathe underwater, but that didn't seem like much of a superpower. In the end,
flying like Superman easily registered, and it best leveraged the unique capabilities of the lab."
One at a time, 30 men and 30 women entered the simulator and strapped on a set of goggles that transported them
into a digital cityscape. A woman's voice then explained their mission: A diabetic child is stranded somewhere
in the city, and you must find him and deliver an insulin injection.
The participants left the ground - either controlling their flight by a series of arm motions, like Superman, or
as a passenger in a helicopter. The experiment was set so that two minutes into the simulation, no matter what
mode of transport, the subject found the sick child.
After removing the virtual reality goggles, each person then sat with an experimenter to answer a few questions
about the experience. This questionnaire, however, was a ruse: During the interview, the experimenter would "accidentally"
knock over a cup filled with 15 pens - a standard test for gauging empathy.
Virtual superpowers encourage real-world altruism. Credits: Stanford University
The superhero group not only pitched in first, they also picked up about 15 percent more pens on average. While
everyone who flew like Superman picked up some pens, six participants who rode in the helicopter failed to
offer any help at all.
The data show that heroic behavior in a virtual environment can transfer to altruistic behavior in the real world.
The significance of being able to fly like Superman, however, isn't totally clear, according to Bailenson.
"We want to have a more precise understanding of why this occurs," he said. "What's more important for encouraging
altruistic behavior: being able to fly, or being active in choosing to help?"
"It's very clear that if you design games that are violent, peoples' aggressive behavior increases," Bailenson said.
"If we can identify the mechanism that encourages empathy, then perhaps we can design technology and video games
that people will enjoy and that will successfully promote altruistic behavior in the real world."
Our Universe Is A Gigantic And
Wonderfully Detailed Holographic Illusion
In our daily life we are not aware that we may, in fact, live in a hologram and our existence is a holographic projection, nothing more.
All what we believe is real, our whole physical world, is - in fact - an illusion being proved by the holographic universe,
one of the most remarkable theories of 20th century...
Our Creator Is A Cosmic Computer Programmer - Says JPL Scientist
Are we just a computer simulation? Who or what is the creator? More
and more scientists are now seriously considering the possibility that we might live in a matrix, and they say that evidence could be all around us.
Terrell has his opinion about our creator who most refer to as God.
Do We Live In A Computer Simulation
Created By An Advanced Alien Civilization?
The captivating idea that we might be living in 3 dimensional holographic simulation has been put forward by various scientists.
We will explore this mind-boggling idea further and examine some intriguing questions.
If we suspect that we are programmed beings living inside a simulation is there any way for us to find out if this is true?
Is it possible to change the outcome of this virtual game?
Dancing Snakes - The Illusion Our Brain Wants Us To See
Scientists have long wanted to explain the mystery of how the Rotating Snakes illusion tricks the brain.
Visual illusions demonstrate the ways in which the brain creates a mental representation that differs from the physical
world. By studying illusions, we can learn the mechanisms by which the brain constructs our conscious experience of the world.
Can Parallel Universes Explain The Déjà Vu Phenomenon?
Have you ever had a déjà vu experience? It's the feeling, or impression that you have already witnessed or experienced a current situation.
The term déjà vu is French and means, literally, "already seen."
It is a rather common, yet little understood phenomenon. Most of us have experienced being in a new place and feeling certain that we have been there before, but we have difficulties understanding how it is possible.
Cyborgs Exploring Space - Is It Us Or Them?
It is impossible for a human being to survive beyond about a minute and a half in space without significant technological assistance.
If humans wish to colonize planets, it would require next state of human evolution.
Does this mean that we must become cyborgs or is space exploration just a dream of humanity?
Artificial Intelligence: Super-Turing Machine Imitates Human Brain
As computer scientists this year celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the mathematical genius Alan Turing, who set out the basis for digital computing
in the 1930s to anticipate the electronic age, they still quest after a machine as adaptable and intelligent as the human brain.
Living Earth Simulator - Supercomputer Predicting The Future
In Douglas Adams book the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy we encounter a machine called Deep Thought. It is the most powerful computer ever built. Deep Thought is capable of answering questions
concerning life, the Universe, and simply everything. Now scientists are planning to create a similar machine. It is called the Living Earth Simulator (LES).
Revealing How A Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life
It is time for some good news for all book lovers!
Anyone who enjoys reading knows that books can open doors to a number of worlds, which one never thought existed. Books can take you on the most astonishing journeys.
Now, recent research also shows that books can have a very beneficial impact on your daily life and psychological health.
Quantum Causal Relations: A Causes B Causes A
One of the most deeply rooted concepts in science and in our everyday life is causality; the idea that events in the present are caused by events
in the past and, in turn, act as causes for what happens in the future. If an event A is a cause of an effect B, then B cannot be a cause of A.