There’s nothing virtual about VR experiences

January 12, 2017

Your recent feature about virtual reality in education (“Another dimension”, 5 January) doesn’t quite bring out what might be the most impactful characteristic of VR.

Surely the point is that as far as the unconscious mind is concerned: receiving impressions through some of the same senses as direct experience will, via VR, have very nearly as much mental impact as “the real thing”.

So the opportunity for people, particularly those in their late teens, to experience the effects of especially risky events (and perhaps inspirational ones, too) could have life-changing, and potentially even life-saving, consequences.

For example: allowing people to “experience”, with physical security, the simulated consequences of drink-driving or gang violence would, I believe, have a more visceral and persistent effect than merely watching a much less immersive TV screen or computer monitor.

With suitable precautions, a range of such VR-delivered experiences could fill a life-skill gap as yet unmet.

Paul G. Ellis
Business school tutor and academic copy-editor
London and Chichester


Send to

Letters should be sent to: THE.Letters@tesglobal.com
Letters for publication in Times Higher Education should arrive by 9am Monday.
View terms and conditions.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

Mitch Blunt illustration (23 March 2017)

Without more conservative perspectives in the academy, lawmakers will increasingly ignore and potentially defund social science, says Musa al-Gharbi

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

sitting by statue

Institutions told they have a ‘culture of excluding postgraduates’ in wake of damning study