“The worst part about harassment in virtual reality is the depths that it can go to.”
—Renee Gittins, CEO of Stumbling Cat Game Studio
CHEK is a choker-collared haptic vest that gives reality checks to users of social VR. The row of nails on the choker serves to replicate emotional pain of a victim of sexual harassment by physicalising that pain on the harasser. This speculative product seeks to connect digital misconducts with physical consequences.
MFA Products of Design | SVA
Thesis 0I with Allan Chochinov and Andrew Schloss
At a Glance
“With the sense of 'presence' in VR, a person can invade your personal space and grope you in a way that you truly feel is real and creates a visceral reaction.” Renee Gittins, CEO of Stumbling Cat Game Studio revealed her experience of being assaulted on VRChat.
Women are harassed across all digital platforms. A 2014 Pew Research Center survey shows that about one in five people have witnessed someone being sexually harassed online and 6% have been sexually harassed online. With 12% of Americans planning to buy a virtual reality headset in the next six months, according to App Goodies, abuse in this new medium is something to be concerned about.
With the presence of such experience of trauma and emotional pain, how might we create empathy in the harasser in order for them to change their behaviour?