Thursday, April 17, 2014

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danah boyd on the VR Community's Response to Her Research Suggesting VR May Make Most Women Sick

Danah boyd VR sexism update

It's been a few weeks since acclaimed technology academic danah boyd published her essential essay for Quartz on the possible problems virtual reality technology may cause women -- but as I noted recently, so far there seems to be little public response from the VR community about it. (Very roughly summarized, her thesis is this: Based on danah's initial research in virtual reality, there seems to be a biological reason why many or most women get nauseous while using VR.) So I checked directly with danah, to see what kind of replies she's gotten since then:

"I don't know the VR landscape but I got lots of emails from folks working in the space, curious to know more or sharing related research," she tells me. "I asked some of them to comment on my blog post but not all did." Unfortunately she hasn't been contacted by anyone at Oculus Rift, but notes, "that's not surprising because companies always go quiet when they're in the process of an acquisition."

What kind of research is she hoping to see?

"I want folks to take what I did and push it further," danah tells me. (Here's the .pdf to her groundbreaking VR research.) "I don't have a design for an experiment at this point nor should I be trying to design an experiment. This should be taken up by researchers as they probe the issue. If researchers start to investigate this issue, I'll be ecstatic."

So would I, because if up to half the population can't experience VR without literally getting sick, we have a fundamental problem.

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Heh, I just confirmed today that Danah will be our keynote for the 2014 Wharton Web Conference; pretty psyched!


Cool, please post the link!

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