Last year, we wrote about the extreme potential for griefing in virtual reality spaces as it’s one of MMORPG developer Raph Koster’s favorite talking points. “People who think ‘anonymity’ is ‘more authentic’ forget that we are social creatures; we are less human when masked and isolate,” he wrote last year in response to the rather idealistic outlooks on human nature pushed by start-up VR companies.
But of course, that’s not to say that nobody behaves well in virtual spaces. To wit: Kotaku has a piece out today on an incident that took place in VR Chat, an extremely popular virtual world akin to Second Life. A group of its players apparently put down their memes to help out a fellow human who appeared to have collapsed with a seizure. In the video provided by YouTuber Rogue Shadow VR, VR gamers broke character to offer medical advice and shame a handful of griefers in diapers and meme costumes.
The player, DrunkenUnicyclist, later confirmed to Kotaku that he wasn’t epileptic but had had a seizure once before as a child. “It was comforting to know somebody was there after it was all said and done,” he told the publication. “It’s really amazing that people can come together like that over somebody who’s in distress. In a world where nobody even knows each other, really.”
We’ve also previously written about academic research on motion sickness in VR – also worth a look if you’re curious how VR, or rather, the point-of-view in some poorly designed VR games, can cause dramatic illness.