Scientists from Germany offer a ‘Code of Conduct’ for Virtual Reality
As crazy as it may seem, virtual reality, something that we only ever dreamt about on TV shows from 90s is actually becoming reality., and yet here we are, although not without some concerns!
German Code of Conduct
Due to all of the warnings that we have been given via the numerous virtual reality themed films that it has prompted a group of researcher from Germany to create a risk assessment for the new technology in order to create a conduct code before virtual reality becomes more everyday occurrence.
At the moment virtual reality is only used for entertainment and gaming, with the most popular platforms such as the Oculus Rift and Google Glass with the former being incredibly popular with gamers on YouTube including Hank Green. Although participating in games where you have a strange looking device strapped to your head may appear harmless, it is really important that the potential risks of these devices are understood and not understated.
Completely sinking yourself into a world that is exaggerated in comparison with reality has the has the capability to leave the gamer with longer lasting mental effects, particularly when you are involved in environments that involve virtual torture or horror. This can be seen in the tiny number Oculus Rift gaming videos on YouTube, and even the horror games that have include a minimal amount of horror with extremely low grade graphics still have the ability to cause upset and distress and it is obvious that the quality of these games will only become better and more real as these games increase as the platform grows.
The Potential Issues and Risks
Concerns have been raised even within the world where there are no horror games, for example, the highly anticipated virtual reality game called EVE: Valkyrie which encourages the players to exploit and stab each other in the back. It only stands to reason that a game such as this with the negative influence will influence the person’s actions in real life. Research is already suggesting that the current gaming class encourages and condones the use of violence in the real world and it would be right to assume that a similar effect however even more so would exist in the world of the virtual reality gaming.
This is one of the reasons why it is vital that the users are really well informed of all the risks that could be connected with virtual reality and that they are also understand that what happens in their virtual world may feel just as intense as the feelings that they have in real life and this is the real purpose of the virtual reality, to make the user believe that they are in reality. There is a huge risk that some users will enter the virtual world misjudging the reality and before they know it they have been exposed to things that they were not expecting or do not fully understand.
In the same way as adult entertainment is a big thing on the internet, porn and sex is set to be a huge art of the world of virtual reality, and it will be really important to see how this is regulated and managed in certain situations. For example, will having sex with someone taboo in virtual reality still an issue? How about partaking in virtual sex with someone other than your own partner or spouse, would this still be classed as cheating if it only took place in virtual reality?
Where Will the Lines to be Drawn?
The researchers that have developed the code of conduct have also touched on the use of online personalities with regards to personal privacy, which is a point that is only going to complicate the way we communicate with one another and inevitably open up a completely new world of cyber-crimes.
It is true that virtual reality has the potential to be totally amazing, and there is no doubt that it will change the way we experience everyday life from this time onwards. However, like everything there is also a huge and very real and somewhat terrifying chance that it will become a force of evil so to speak.