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Using Design Fiction to Explore the Ethics of VR ‘In the Wild’

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  • David Green
  • Guy Schofield
  • James J.L. Hodge
  • Mandy Rose
  • Kirsten Cater
  • Chris Bevan
  • Stuart Iain Gray
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Abstract

In this half-day workshop, we will explore the ethics of Virtual Reality (VR) through conversations framed around design fictions. Affordable head-mounted displays (HMDs) and accessible VR content are now within reach of large audiences, yet many of VR's most urgent challenges remain under-explored. In addition to the many known unknowns (e.g. how do we manage sensory conflicts and spatial limitations in VR?), there are many more unknown unknowns (e.g. what kinds of psychological, social and cultural impact will VR provoke?). By bringing together diverse scenarios from workshop participants, and bespoke design fictions created specifically to explore the ethics of VR, we will facilitate a rich discussion that will inform the development of three high-fidelity design fictions that will be used to explore the ethics of VR in future workshops, including one in Bristol, UK in November 2019, part of the Virtual Realities Immersive Documentary Encounters project.