Noah J Nelson on Friday, Mar. 28th
Is the coming wave of virtual reality headsets going to be a virtual boys-only club?
That’s essential the question Microsoft Research principle researcher danah boyd puts forth in a piece entitled “Is the Oculus rift sexist?” today at Quartz. The piece begins with a blast to the past of VR:
In the fall of 1997, my university built a CAVE (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment) to help scientists, artists, and archeologists embrace 3D immersion to advance the state of those fields. Ecstatic at seeing a real-life instantiation of the Metaverse, the virtual world imagined in Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, I donned a set of goggles and jumped inside. And then I promptly vomited.
From there boyd delves into some of the extremely complex and utterly fascinating ways in which the brains of biological men and women work differently, and how those differences can impact the effectiveness of virtual reality simulations.