*The University of Arizona is using virtual reality technology as part of an anti-racism project that allows participants to “walk in someone else’s shoes.”
Dr. Bryan Carter, director of the Center for Digital Humanities, is using 360-degree cameras and virtual reality headsets to re-create common experiences of discrimination for its Anti-Racism Extended Reality Studio, or UA-ARXRS.
“Being blamed for something you didn’t do or being racially profiled and followed around a grocery store or even being stopped for no reason at all by law enforcement,” Carter said.
He hopes participants will gain a better understanding and appreciation for other races. The experiences will be paired with readings and debriefings to ensure participants can learn from the scenarios. He plans to also create positive scenarios to teach participants about the heritage of other cultures. Dr. Carter is currently in the process of creating the scenarios specific to campus and expects people to start participating in the virtual realities this fall.