Is it real or virtual? – Can you tell the difference

What’s the difference between real and virtual reality?

– None It Would Seem.

The ‘Proteus effect’ is a proven phenomenon that occurs in immersive virtual reality where the individual experiencing the immersive environment relates so strongly to that environment, it affects their behaviour. It has been shown that virtual behaviours and beliefs are carried across from virtual reality to physical reality.

What is The Proteus effect?

The Proteus effect(1) describes a phenomenon where the behaviour of a person operating under a digital persona adapts to conform to that persona. This is an effect associated with digital self-portrayal. However a Stanford study(2) demonstrates that not only do we change our personalities when we become immersed in virtual reality – we can also change what we believe and how we behave in our real lives to conform to the beliefs of that ‘character’. This is a highly useful tool in training and engagement with an individual or group.

The study shows that mental reasoning used in immersive virtual reality can transform how people behave in the real world too. According to the Stanford study, avatar-inhabited environments are the new reality that everyone needs to become aware of. It is our opinion that their growing popularity means this is a perfect media channel for mind-sharing, projects, meetings, knowledge transfer and influence in society. It has been used extensively in training and other business operations.

The paper presents proof that changes in a person’s belief system through identification with an avatar are demonstrable in their life. This study does not just represent an isolated incident, but is evidence that immersive virtual reality has a huge scope for influence in individuals and en-mass. Essential for  training and promoting positive attitudes in teams, business associates and the general public.

Virtual reality has been used in fields of medicine, manufacturing, visualization, path planning, entertainment and military applications (1). The scope for use in any organisation is massive and the pay backs can be substantial. All you need to do is talk to The Virtual Mob

Let us know what your thoughts are on this?

References:

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proteus_effect
(2) http://vhil.stanford.edu/pubs/2013/fox-chb-sexualized-virtual-selves.pdf
(3) http://www.cs.unc.edu/~azuma/ARpresence.pdf

 

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