Heightened Empathy

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We present Heightened Empathy, a multi-user interactive experience in bioresponsive virtual reality (VR) designed to visualize emotional states and stimulate different types of empathy between two players in various interactive modes. The experience immerses users in a VR representation of each other’s emotional state, while also reflecting this to the audience using a table-top social robot and projection as they interact with each other. In competitive mode, the goal is to promote cognitive empathy where each user needs to understand the new emotional representation in VR to win. In communication mode, we have users act on one another verbally to promote emotional empathy. The experience aims to enhance empathy perception by placing the players in virtual environments that require them to understand, share, and act on each other’s perspectives and emotions.


Mark Armstrong,
Kinga Skiers,
Danyang Peng,
Tamil Selvan Gunasekaran,
Anish Kundu,
Tanner Person,
Yixin Wang,
Kouta Minamizawa,
Yun Suen Pai

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