The exam assignment requires an account of the issues of virtual reality, based on the source material. The three materials included in the assignment explore a variety of issues related to VR, such as the ethical and practical challenges of the technology. A special focus is given to issues related to using VR in journalism.
Health and safety issues
Text 1, “Virtual reality, fake news, and the future of fact” does not mention health and safety issues directly but it does note that VR and AR games can “go deep” and “wide” (00:40-00:50). If games can appear anywhere you go in the real world, for example, there is a risk of accidents if the user get distracted by following a character on the streets or in their house. A similar concern is mentioned in Text 3, “10 ethical concerns that will shape the VR industry”. Because their senses are blocked by the headset, people might become vulnerable targets for burglars, as well as at risk of accidents (ll. 11-12).
Text 3 also argues that people (youngsters in particular) might overestimate their abilities because of the things they can do in the virtual world: “This is especially applicable to children and young people who could take it that their expertise in tightrope walking, parkour, or car driving will transfer seamlessly over to nonvirtual environments.” (ll. 36-38). This can also lead to accidents in real life as people might try to do something in real life that they have only previously achieved in the virtual world.
Psychological and emotional impact
It is also important to consider the psychological and emotional impact VR technology could have on users. Text 1 notes this in relation to immersive journalism, suggesting that some projects like “The Enemy” have had a visible emotional impact on users (05:20-05:27). At the same time, the text suggests that using strong emotions might not be the right way to deliver news reports which should be based on facts (05:30-05:55). Similar ideas are mentioned in Text 3 as ...